Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that she would take a snap Scottish independence referendum ‘off the table’ if the United Kingdom was to enact a ‘soft Brexit’ upon the triggering of Article 50.
Speaking to Good Morning Scotland, she said:
“I think there’s a lot of consensus starting to build around some of those additional powers, for example around immigration.
“We’ve put forward very detailed plans about how we avoid a hard Brexit and the reason it’s important to avoid a hard Brexit, let’s not forget, is because that will have a devastating impact on our economy and on jobs.
“So I’m in a sense willing to put aside my preferred option of independence in the EU to see if we can explore a consensus and compromise option.”
“In terms of the timescale of Brexit, that’s what I’ve been very clear about.
“Am I going to stop arguing for independence or believing in independence? Am I going to stop believing that Scotland is on a journey to independence? No.
“But we’re talking here about the particular context and timescale of Brexit – and I’m putting these proposals forward in good faith.
“I’m deliberately saying, ‘put my preferred option to one side’ and asking people if we can find a consensus and compromise option.”
Iain Gray MSP said on behalf of Scottish Labour,
“The First Minister could clear up any doubt about her intentions by ruling out another referendum altogether. The vast majority of people in Scotland don’t want to go through another referendum. They want the SNP to address the crisis in our NHS and clean up the mess Nationalist ministers have made of education, not obsess about another independence referendum.
“Scottish Labour will not support another independence referendum. We want 2017 to be the year to save our Union. After more than 300 years, it is time for a new Act of Union to safeguard our family of nations for generations to come.”
This comes as recent polls show 61.5% of Scottish people do not want a second independence referendum.