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The News Line: News SNP 2nd Scottish Referendum ‘I WILL now take the steps necessary to make sure that Scotland will have the choice at the end of this process,’ Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday calling for a second referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom and becoming an independent country.

The referendum, she outlined, will happen between the Autumn of next year 2018 and the Spring of 2019. She continued: ‘We have a choice of whether to follow the UK into a “Hard Brexit” or to become an independent country, able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the UK and our own relationship with Europe.

‘The Scottish government’s mandate for offering this choice is beyond doubt. Last year we were elected with the highest share of the constituency vote won by any party in the history of devolution on a manifesto which said this: “The Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our own will.”

‘These conditions have of course now been met. So I can confirm today that next week I will seek the authority of the Scottish Parliament to agree with the UK government the details of a Section 30 order, a procedure which will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence Referendum.’

She added: ‘If Scotland is to have a real choice, when the terms of Brexit are known, but before it is too late to choose our own course, then that choice must be offered between the Autumn of next year 2018 and the Spring of 2019.’

She concluded: ‘We know that Brexit has made change inevitable. The option of no change is no longer available, however we can still decide the nature of that change. Having Scotland’s referendum at a time when the terms of Brexit are known will give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want and it must be a choice for all of us.

‘I know that there are some who want us to rule out a referendum completely, or delay the decision until much, much further down the line. I understand why some take that view and of course these views do weigh heavily on me. But so does this – and this for me is a key consideration – if I ruled out a referendum, I would be deciding completely unilaterally, that Scotland will follow the UK to a “Hard Brexit” come what may, no matter how damaging to our economy and our society it turns out to be.

‘That should not be the decision of just one politician, not even the First Minister. By taking the steps that I have laid out today, I am ensuring that Scotland’s future will be decided not just by me, the Scottish government or the SNP. It will be decided by the people of Scotland. It will be Scotland’s choice and I trust the people to make that choice.’


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