Wednesday 17 January 2018

'We're not bluffing about second referendum on Scottish independence,' says Sturgeon

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: PA
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: PA

David Hughes

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she is not bluffing about a second Scottish independence referendum as she accused Theresa May of an "unacceptable" approach to Brexit.

The Scottish First Minister hinted that a 'hard' Brexit could see a vote on independence within five years, but insisted she was offering a "compromise solution" to the prime minister.

Ms Sturgeon has indicated that a 'soft' Brexit could take the issue of a second referendum on Scottish independence off the table in the short term.

But she told BBC One she was prepared to call a fresh vote if the terms of Brexit were not right. She said "they will be making a big mistake if they think that I'm in any way bluffing" as leaving the EU created a "fundamental question" for Scotland.

"If we're going to be ignored, if our voice has been completely cast aside, our interests cast aside, then that can happen on anything," she said.

"We have to ask ourselves in Scotland are we happy to have the direction of our country, the kind of country we want, to be determined by a right-wing Conservative government perhaps for the next 20 years, or do we want to take control of our own future? And that's the case that in those circumstances I think it would be right for Scotland to have the opportunity to decide."

Asked if she was looking at a referendum "much quicker" if there was a 'hard' Brexit, she said: "I would think, yes. But let me not get away from this point, I'm putting to Theresa May a compromise solution."

Ms Sturgeon was critical of Ms May's co-operation with leaders of the devolved administrations.

"If the UK's coming out of the EU, that has enormous implications for Scotland as it does for other parts of the UK; it has enormous implications for our economy, for jobs, for living standards, for trade, investment, for the kind of society we are and I want to play my part in making sure we get the right outcome," she said.

Irish Independent

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