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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the BBC on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Scotland’s Sturgeon: confident independence vote can happen next year

  • The Scottish First Minister is hopeful a second referendum on independence will happen, and says Brexit was a game-changer
  • On Tuesday Britain’s top court begins hearing arguments for allowing a secession vote without approval from the British government

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is confident a second referendum on Scottish independence could take place in October next year, she said on Sunday.

Britain’s top court on Tuesday begins hearing arguments for allowing a secession vote without approval from British Prime Minister Liz Truss and her government.

In a 2014 plebiscite, which the British government approved, Scots rejected independence, with 55 per cent wanting to remain part of the UK. However, the Scottish National Party (SNP) argues the vote for Britain to leave the European Union two years later was a game changer.

Sturgeon argues that as voters backed pro-independence parties in elections for the Scottish parliament last year, there was a mandate to bring forward a bill to hold a referendum on October 19, 2023.

Asked during an interview on BBC TV whether she was confident that will happen, Sturgeon said: “Yes, I am confident that can happen.”

“Let’s wait and see what the court says. I am confident Scotland is going to become independent.”

Sturgeon has promised that defeat in the Supreme Court would mean the SNP would fight the next UK-wide election, due to be held in 2024, solely on a platform of whether Scotland should be independent, making it a ‘de facto’ referendum.

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Sturgeon said on Sunday that was a last resort.

“That is not my preference,” she said. “If the route by which it would be right to consider and decide this issue, which is a lawful constitutional referendum, is blocked ... the choice is then simple: We put our case to people in an election or we give up on Scottish democracy and I want to be very clear today I will never, ever give up on Scottish democracy.”