• MySTV

Sturgeon: There will be a second independence vote

The First Minister has said a vote will be held despite Downing Street's refusal.

The First Minister has insisted there will be a legal independence referendum before the UK leaves the European Union despite the UK Government saying it will not grant one.

In a speech to her party's conference in Aberdeen on Saturday, the SNP leader said she will press ahead with plans to seek the Scottish Parliament's approval for her government to formally request a referendum.

The power to call such a vote is held by the UK Government.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister said "now is not the time" for a referendum and the Scottish secretary, David Mundell, said Downing Street will reject any approach from the devolved administration until the UK has left the European Union.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1383210-theresa-may-rejects-nicola-sturgeon-s-call-for-indyref2/ | default

Mundell also said the UK Government was unwilling to open "discussions" about a referendum during this time also.

Sturgeon told the conference: "I know that the plan I set out on Monday was music to the ears of SNP members and independence supporters up and down the country.

"And let me set out again what that plan is.

"After the terms of Brexit are clear but while there is still an opportunity to change course, the people of Scotland will have a choice.

"There will be an independence referendum."

Sturgeon said she is willing to discuss the timing of the poll "within reason" with Theresa May.

"But let the Prime Minister be in no doubt," she warned.

"The will of our parliament must and will prevail."

Sturgeon said she understood not all Scots share her party members' enthusiasm for a new poll.

She said some people will be "feeling nervous and anxious, perhaps even resentful" about the prospect.

The SNP leader promised to publicly publish the findings of a report into the country's economy and how an independent Scotland's finances would be handled.

She said its findings will "address the challenges we face in a hard headed and realistic way" but "it will also set out the massive opportunities we have as a country".

The First Minister unveiled plans to boost the wages of those working in private nurseries in her speech.

The Scottish Government will provide local authorities with up to £50m to ensure private nursery workers providing the government's 600 hours of free nursery learning will be paid at least the living wage.

Around 8000 workers will benefit from the funding.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1383311-sturgeon-refuses-to-rule-out-wildcat-independence-vote/ | default

Sturgeon also announced the creation of a £36m loan fund which firms can use to train their workforce in digital skills.

She told conference delegates: "Recent studies estimate that we need more than 12,000 new workers with digital skills every year.

"And yet only a quarter of businesses report that they are doing anything at all to develop the technology skills of their current workforces.

"We need to change that. Scotland can't afford to lose out on the digital revolution."

Responding to the speech, the Scottish Conservatives called Nicola Sturgeon a "part-time First Minister".

Deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: "This is the week that Nicola Sturgeon gave up being First Minister and instead put her obsession with independence before the day job.

"This was a disappointing and negative speech. Nicola Sturgeon seems to be more interested in complaining about the UK Government than talking up her own.

"The SNP spends so much time plotting games over separation, it now relies on other parties for policies - our plan calling for mental health workers in GP practices and A&Es was published barely three months ago.

"It is flattering that the SNP are catching up, but that does not mask the fact that the vast bulk of this speech was yet another rallying call for independence.

"We now have a part-time First Minister claiming to speak for Scotland, but in fact pursuing her own narrow agenda to the detriment and against the wishes of ordinary Scots."

Labour accused the First Minister of being "out of ideas".

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "This was a speech from a First Minister who is out of ideas and obsessed by independence.

"Her attempt at wooing the majority of Scots who oppose her bid to leave the UK will fool nobody. The SNP still stands for division and grievance.

"If Nicola Sturgeon truly wants to listen to the people of Scotland, she will take the threat of a second independence referendum off the table.

"Nicola Sturgeon began her speech by attacking Gordon Brown, who helped to lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

"But there was nothing from the First Minister about using Holyrood's new powers to tackle child poverty; a stark contrast with Labour's plan to increase child benefit to address the growing scandal.

"Thirteen mentions of independence or being independent, yet not one mention of poverty - the SNP's priorities neatly summed up."

The Scottish Liberal Democrats accused Sturgeon of "hunting for division".

"Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly promised education would be 'front and central' but yet it hardly merited a mention in her address," Lib Dem leader leader Willie Rennie said.

"Mental health, another supposed priority, gets a few scraps instead of a step change investment it needs.

"In the blink of an eye her promises to our children and on mental health have been crushed by her out of control independence juggernaut.

"Nicola Sturgeon implies that only she speaks for the people but the people spoke three years ago and told her no.

"Instead of hunting for division the First Minister should sort out the problems on her own doorstep."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.