Sturgeon suggests soft Brexit could take indyref off table in short term

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Nicola Sturgeon has indicated a soft Brexit would see the prospect of Scottish independence removed — in the prove inadequate term.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, the first supply said she believed Scotland’s «direction of travel» was towards independence.

But she revealed this could be «put aside» in the short term as she seeks «consensus and compromise» once again Brexit.

Opposition parties want Ms Sturgeon to rule out a second referendum.

Ms Sturgeon imparted she wanted the UK to retain membership of the European single market, the so-called unstarched Brexit option.

If the UK as a whole was to leave the market, she has set out terms on which Scotland could potentially set-back in, but these would require new powers being devolved to Holyrood.

Voters in Scotland shy away from the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%.

Ms Sturgeon said she favoured Scotland remaining in the European Unity as an independent country, and her government is currently consulting on a draft bill for a subordinate independence referendum.

However, she acknowledged that «in terms of the timetable of Brexit» the outlook of Scottish independence could be taken off the table if a soft exit could be obtained.

‘Additional powers’

She said: «We want to try to work with others across the UK, across the administrative spectrum, to try to keep the UK in the single market.»

Ms Sturgeon said if that could not be done then her ministry had put forward a plan to UK ministers detailing how Scotland could retain membership of the only market, that includes devolving powers over areas embodying immigration and employment law to Holyrood.

She added: «I think there’s a lot of consensus starting to bod around some of those additional powers, for example around immigration.

«We’ve put onward very detailed plans about how we avoid a hard Brexit and the figure out it’s important to avoid a hard Brexit, let’s not forget, is because that hand down have a devastating impact on our economy and on jobs.

«So I’m in a sense willing to put aside my espoused option of independence in the EU to see if we can explore a consensus and compromise option.»

When pressed on the indubitably of a second independence referendum being taken «off the table» in the event of a in decline Brexit, Ms Sturgeon added: «In terms of the timescale of Brexit, that’s what I’ve been exact clear about.

«Am I going to stop arguing for independence or believing in self-government? Am I going to stop believing that Scotland is on a journey to independence?

«No, but we’re talking here yon the particular context and timescale of Brexit — and I’m putting these proposals deliver in good faith. I’m deliberately saying, ‘put my preferred option to one side’ and enquire of people if we can find a consensus and compromise option.»


Analysis by BBC Scotland public reporter Philip Sim

Nicola Sturgeon suggests that a «soft» Brexit could see the possible of Scottish independence recede, at least in the short term.

But is such a give in Brexit likely? Based on the current rhetoric out of Westminster, it’s hard to say so with any faith.

At the moment, Brexit provides the most likely trigger for a second freedom referendum. Effectively Ms Sturgeon is accepting that if the conditions set out in the Brexit design she published in December are met, then it would make pulling that trigger numerous difficult to justify.

But again — how likely is this?

If you need a hint wide what Ms Sturgeon thinks, immediately after her appearance on Radio Scotland, the foremost minister retweeted a newspaper front page stating that the «UK opposites a very hard Brexit».

She later added that it was a «reasonable assessment» to hint at that indyref2 is currently more likely than a soft Brexit.

This is another ration out to pile pressure on Theresa May’s government over the «compromise» deal set out by the Scottish direction. Indications of how likely it is to be accepted should emerge as the prime minister’s Brexit organizes become clearer.


John Curtice, a professor of politics at Strathclyde University, berated the BBC’s World at One programme that Ms Sturgeon had changed her tone, if not her position on Brexit.

He claimed: «She has indicated since 23 June that should her vision of Brexit be realised, at particle for Scotland, then she wouldn’t necessarily hold the [independence] referendum.

«Today has helped the tone of being willing to say ‘the referendum may not happen’ is perhaps a bit more unmistakable. But what she wasn’t asked is what would happen if she were not to get the portrayal of Brexit she is looking for — given how soft the version of Brexit she’s looking for is, there be required to be a pretty high probability that she won’t get what she wants.»

Mr Curtice totaled that with current polling «not a million miles away» from the conclude of the 2014 independence vote, «holding a second independence referendum any but soon would represent a very significant gamble as far as Nicola Sturgeon is involved.»

The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems have all spoken out against a second autonomy vote, while the Greens are in favour of one.

‘Blind faith’

On Thursday, Scottish Exertion leader Kezia Dugdale told Good Morning Scotland that the UK is numberless important to Scotland than the EU, saying Ms Sturgeon had failed to produce «existent evidence» of how Scotland could stay in the single market if the UK as a whole have as a remainders.

She said she had worked with the first minister in good faith close to protecting Scotland’s place in Europe, but said «good faith is intemperate becoming blind faith».

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson bid Ms Sturgeon had spent «six months trying desperately to use Brexit as a way of increasing beam for independence», adding that «she’s failed».

She said: «Scotland is kept in limbo as Nicola Sturgeon turns to find an escape route after marching her troops to the top of a mountain, but tranquil keeping the threat of a second referendum on the table as a possibility for the future.

«The earliest minister should act in the interests of the whole country by recognising the decision Scotland lifted just two years ago and respecting that result.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie maintained Ms Sturgeon was «in danger of inflicting considerable and damaging economic uncertainty on Scotland».

He held: «Nicola Sturgeon should now rule out another independence referendum to end this damaging uncertainty.

«You liking think that with all the problems with a slipping educational display, a shortage of GPs and struggling mental health services that the SNP would get on with judgement solutions. But the SNP are obsessed with independence so those issues will in no way be their top priority.»

And Ross Greer of the Scottish Green Party has symbolized rights for Scots could only be secured if Scotland was an «independent domain with the European Union».

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