Saturday, 25 March, 2017

Scotland could face second independence referendum in 2018

Theresa May GETTYTheresa May has reiterated that Britain will leave the single market when the UK leaves the EU
Tracy Craig | 11 March, 2017, 00:22

Ms Davidson spoke out against Nicola Sturgeon "gunning" for an independence referendum next year, with the SNP leader saying an autumn date would be "common sense".

This poll comes as Scottish Finish Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to talk up the possibility of demanding the United Kingdom government grants Scots the opportunity to decide the country's future following the Brexit vote in June.

The Deputy First Minister said: "At the first available opportunity they have come back together again".

Among those polled who said they know how they would vote and are very likely or certain to vote in an immediate referendum, 50% said they would vote Yes to independence while the other 50% said they would reject it.

That increases the challenge for Sturgeon to persuade them to support retaining European Union membership while also finding enough non-nationalist voters to back independence instead of those SNP voters who abstain or vote no at a referendum. "It was a fair, decisive and legal vote".

The crucial facet of that calculation is that the SNP believes its best chance of winning is before the European Union negotiations are complete.

But while in principle the Westminster position is that the last independence referendum, in 2014, settled the matter for a generation, in practice, May would be unlikely to refuse.

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Sturgeon herself has refused to rule out a second vote on independence.

"People in Scotland don't want a second referendum, and the SNP doesn't have a mandate for one".

However, a poll by Ipsos MORI on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) showed that among those likely to vote, support for independence had risen to 50 per cent, a two per cent increase in support for independence compared to Ipsos Mori's last poll.

"Continued discussion around a second referendum is a distraction".

In her speech to the Scottish Conservative Party conference earlier this month, Mrs May accused the SNP of being "obsessed with its own priority of independence" to the detriment of devolved public services like education and health.

The First Minister's attempts to represent Scotland's interests in the debate were welcomed by those polled.

Mrs Sturgeon has repeatedly claimed time is running out for the UK Government to present a Brexit deal which would let Scotland stay within the single market, even if the rest of the country leaves. He said it would foolish to stage a referendum before Brexit.

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