Nicola Sturgeon: decision on Scottish independence vote in '˜not-too-distant future'

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Nicola Sturgeon has said her MPs will vote against Theresa May's Brexit plan and that she will make a statement on a second independence vote soon.

The First Minister said plans for another referendum on independence would have to wait “until the dust settles”, meaning after a Commons vote on the proposed Brexit deal, and any public vote that could follow.

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Uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with the EU has forced Ms Sturgeon to repeatedly delay making plans for second independence referendum - first in the aftermath of a general election setback in 2017, and more recently as Theresa May has struggled to pin down a deal with Brussels.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PAFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

In October, she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that she would unveil her independence plans at “the end of this phase of negotiations… when Theresa May comes back and says I’ve got the deal”.

Appearing on the same programme on Sunday morning, the SNP leader said there was “chaos reigning at Westminster” and a decision would have to wait.

“I think it’s firstly appropriate to wait and see what the House of Commons does,” she said.

“This withdrawal agreement, as things stand just now, is not getting the approval of the House of Commons. Wait until the dust settles.

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“I will come forward with my views on what I think are the appropriate next steps for Scotland specifically in the not too distant future. But I think it’s reasonable to allow the dust to settle.

“We could be facing another general election we could be facing another Brexit vote.”

The First Minister added: “One thing is beyond any doubt: the implications, the consequences of Scotland not being independent, have been very stark in the last few months, and particularly in the last week.

“Scotland’s interests have been sidelined, our parliament has been ignored, our interests have been disregarded.”

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Her comments risk adding to impatience in her own party for the independence campaign to be stepped up.

Last month the SNP MP Angus MacNeil publicly called for a second independence referendum to be “progressed pronto”, and last week wrote to the Prime Minister asking if an SNP victory in Scotland in another general election would represent a mandate for independence, without the need for a new referendum.