Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Scottish leader puts second independence referendum on hold

Scottish leader puts second independence referendum on hold

After a weak performance by the Scottish National Party in the United Kingdom general election, Scotland will not forge ahead with plans to hold a second independence referendum, yet, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The Scottish first minister told the devolved parliament in Edinburgh that she will not immediately legislate for a second referendum, waiting until the terms of Brexit are clearer.

The SNP leader had been reflecting on plans for a second independence referendum in the wake of the general election, which saw the SNP's share of the vote fall from 50% in 2015 to 37% earlier this month. The Scottish Government will not introduce legislation for an independence referendum immediately.

The First Minister said that independence "may well be the only way to protect Scotland from the impact of Brexit" but insisted the case for independence "goes far beyond that".

Sturgeon said the Scottish government had "reset" its position on a second referendum.

She added: "There is no doubt that the Scottish Government has a mandate to offer the people of Scotland that choice within this term of Parliament".

Today she set out her reflections in a speech to the Scottish Parliament.

And she said voters who have voted in two general elections, as well as the European Union and first Scottish referendum since 2014, were exhausted of going to the ballot box.

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Unionists hoping Nicola Sturgeon would use her statement today to call off her plans for IndyRef2 have been left disappointed.

Ms Sturgeon had been due to give a speech on Brexit to the Association of British Insurers in London but her appearance was cancelled on Tuesday morning.

She has announced a "reset" of the timetable set out for another referendum.

But it appears those plans have been shelved for the meantime - although it was not indicated whether an independence referendum would be taken off the table completely.

By the time this year's General Election campaigning hit its zenith and her government's demands to be heard in Brexit negotiations had been repeatedly rebuffed, she appeared to have lost her appetite for the fight.

"[Whether they're] yes and no voters, most people just don't want this question brought back any time soon", Davidson said.

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

"The election showed that the Scottish people do not want another unnecessary referendum", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, calling for the SNP to focus instead on the economy.

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