Scottish leader to speak on 2nd independence referendum

Scottish leader to speak on 2nd independence referendum

Scottish leader to speak on 2nd independence referendum

It's been one of the will-they won't-they stories of British politics for the past two-and-a-half years.

Another Scottish independence referendum must be approved by May's government for it to be legally binding.

Anyone waiting to declare that Nicola Sturgeon has been forced to do a U-turn over her plans for a second independence referendum will have been sorely disappointed today.

Why was Scottish Independence on the table?

Brexit has strained relations between Britain's four nations because Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to keep European Union membership while England and Wales voted to leave. "And then at the end of this period of negotiation with the European Union - likely to be around next autumn - when the terms of Brexit will be clearer, we will come back to Parliament to set out our judgment on the best way forward at that time, including our view on the precise timescale for offering people a choice over the country's future".

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Why has Sturgeon backed down now?

Nicola Sturgeon: The SNP leader said she would "reflect" following the general election result.

Sturgeon said the people of Scotland should have a choice about their own destiny after Brexit negotiations have been concluded. But rather than pressing the start button on the process now, she would, she said, re-dedicate herself to trying to influence the shape of Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon had called for an independence referendum to be held in the autumn of next year or the spring of 2019. "We have not done that yet". That's because of oil prices-the Scottish economy depends on oil and the price per barrel has collapsed globally since 2014.

She insisted on Tuesday that the Scottish Government "remains committed strongly to the principle of giving Scotland a choice at the end of this process".

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But you could also argue that Ms Sturgeon's statement at Holyrood changed very little.

British politics is in a period of massive flux, and it's nearly impossible to predict what might happen on this issue in the distant future.

The SNP will engage openly and inclusively with, and work as part of, the wider movement to build the case for independence, that decisions must be made by us - not for us.

It will be billed in some quarters as an embarrassing U-turn, an admission of defeat, perhaps even a sign that the SNP's dream of Scottish independence is finally over.

And it follows her party's loss of 21 seats in the recent election - including those held by the SNP's former leader in Westminster leader Angus Robertson and the former party leader Alex Salmond.

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When the time comes, people must know why independence offers the best answer to the many complex challenges we face as a country.

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