Nicola Sturgeon shelves second independence referendum

Posted June 28, 2017

Anyone waiting to declare that Nicola Sturgeon has been forced to do a U-turn over her plans for a second independence referendum will have been sorely disappointed today.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Sturgeon should "completely take off the table the question of a second independence referendum in Scotland".

She insisted on Tuesday that the Scottish Government "remains committed strongly to the principle of giving Scotland a choice at the end of this process".

Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that legislation paving the way for a re-run of 2014's vote would not be introduced to the Scottish Parliament immediately, as she initially planned, but would be delayed until at least next autumn.

Nicola Sturgeon's hopes for a second Scottish Referendum were dealt a blow.

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In the general election earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon's Scottish National Party lost 21 of its 56 seats, falling to 35 per cent.

Sky News' Scotland Correspondent James Matthews says Ms Sturgeon's new stance reflects the lack of support on the issue.

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.

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.

The unionist parties all called on her to ditch plans for a referendum in the current parliament altogether. "Now is the time for the United Kingdom to be pulling together, not being driven apart".

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Her Conservative counterpart Ruth Davidson accused Ms Sturgeon of being "in denial about her mistakes" and claimed she was "leaking credibility", while Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie claimed her statement had changed "absolutely nothing".

The SNP Scottish Government has a clear mandate to offer the people of Scotland a choice. "We have won not one, but two elections with that explicit commitment in our manifesto and the Scottish Parliament has endorsed that position". "The Scottish government will reset the plan I set out on March 13".

She said: "Yes voters and No voters, most people simply don't want this brought back any time soon and none of the questions - none of the questions - that are raised by Brexit are answered by ripping Scotland out of our own union of nations, our biggest market and our closest friends".

For now, Sturgeon restated her plea for May to allow Scottish ministers to join the negotiations between London and Brussels.

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