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Indyref2 could still happen even if Brexit cancelled

Nicola Sturgeon said any referendum would probably take place in the second half of next year.

By STV News

Published 26 Apr 2019.

A second Scottish independence referendum could still be held even if the UK remains in the European Union.

Nicola Sturgeon said if Brexit was cancelled, there would be a "conversation" about what should happen next, adding: "Scotland needs to keep its options as open as possible."

The First Minister announced on Wednesday the Scottish Government would start drawing up legislation for indyref2, with a vote being held by the end of 2021 if Brexit goes ahead.

She told STV News on Friday that any referendum would probably take place in the second half of next year.

However, the UK Government has consistently said it would refuse to issue a Section 30 order, needed to grant the vote.

Sturgeon believes that position is "unsustainable" and "democratically unacceptable".

She said: "I just don't accept that at all, this is a UK Government that has no credibility, no authority, that doesn't manage to stick to a position from one day to the next, will probably be out of office before too much longer, that's impossible to have a meaningful negotiation with.

"That's why I'm not bothering with them at the moment. We're putting in place plans at the Scottish Parliament to put the rules of a referendum in place. In parallel to that, we will make and build and win the case for independence."

Speaking ahead of this weekend's SNP conference, the First Minister insisted a Remain vote in any second EU referendum wouldn't mean the mandate for indyref2 was lost.

Sturgeon said: "At the moment we face being taken out of the EU against our will. If that doesn't happen we'll have a conversation about what should happen.

"I'm not going to narrow Scotland's options at the moment. Scotland needs to keep its options as open as possible.

"We'd make sure people have all the information they need to make an informed choice.

"The reason why people are taking about a second EU referendum is there was no information given to people about what Brexit meant in reality. We must ensure that a choice is well informed."

And she insisted Scots had nothing to fear about eventually moving to a new currency after independence.

She said: "Independent countries across the world make decisions on their currency based on what's right for their own countries and circumstances.

"That's what an independent Scotland would do."