Holyrood rescheduled

Sturgeon poised to update on indyref2 and Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon: statement (pic: Terry Murden)


Nicola Sturgeon has called for a rescheduling of parliamentary time this week in order to make a statement on independence and Brexit.

The first minister is expected to update MSPs on the implications for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and her timetable for a second independence referendum during a session at Holyrood on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May has regularly insisted that “now is not the time” for a fresh vote on independence, while Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last month that the UK government would refuse to allow another vote.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “The first minister has made clear she will update the Scottish Parliament after the Easter recess.”

Ms Sturgeon will address Holyrood at 1.30pm in what is likely to be another stormy session and amid calls from across the Opposition benches for her to drop the referendum plan.

At the weekend Scottish Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw called on Ms Sturgeon to stand by her pledge not to call for a second independence referendum until it has majority support in the country.

Mr Carlaw said the SNP leader made the commitment in April 2016 and should abide by her own ‘Sturgeon test’ when the party gathers for its spring conference this weekend.

Instead, she claims she has the right to demand a referendum, even though a poll by the SNP-supporting ‘Progress Scotland’ group earlier this month concluded that support for independence had fallen to below 40%.

As MPs return to Westminster to resume attempts at seeking a Brexit resolution, Mrs May faces a a no-confidence challenge from grassroots party campaigners. More than 70 local association chiefs have called for an extraordinary general meeting to discuss her leadership A non-binding vote is to be held at the National Conservative Convention EGM.

Under party rules, MPs cannot call another no-confidence vote until December.

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