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Decision on indyref2 not likely until after New Year

The First Minister previously said she hoped to reveal her plans this autumn.

Any decision on whether to push for a second Scottish independence referendum is likely to be deferred until after the New Year, Nicola Sturgeon has indicated.

The First Minister previously said she planned to reveal her next steps on Scotland's constitutional future this autumn in the hope that the outcome of Brexit would be clearer.

But on Tuesday, she said she was "not entirely in control of the timescale" of any fresh independence vote given the ongoing uncertainty around Britain's exit from the EU.

Sturgeon was speaking at Bute House, where she launched a new Scottish Government paper which claims Theresa May's Brexit deal could cost Scots £1600 a year by 2020.

Scotland's constitutional relations secretary Michael Russell, appearing alongside the First Minister, confirmed the Scottish Parliament would be voting on May's Brexit agreement next week.

The vote will be purely symbolic but comes ahead of the "meaningful vote" on the deal in the House of Commons on December 11.

May has embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the UK home nations to sell her Brexit deal to the public, visiting Wales and Northern Ireland on Tuesday and expected in Scotland on Wednesday.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1433231-sturgeon-brexit-deal-could-cost-scots-1600-each/ | default

Responding to a question from STV's Holyrood Editor Colin Mackay, Sturgeon highlighted that if the deal is defeated that week at Westminster, it could be put before the House again the following week.

"I'm not entirely in control of the timescale; we know that the vote will be on December 11," the First Minister said.

"Assuming (the Prime Minister) loses that vote, I think whether or not that comes back the following week - which I am guessing is the Prime Minister's preference at this stage, although much will depend on the scale of any defeat and what the dynamics are at that stage - that could come back for another vote the week before Christmas.

"I'm not sure anybody would welcome it if I decided to ask you all to come here on Christmas Eve to make a major statement about Scotland's constitutional future."

She added: "I will make that statement at a time I think is right, not just for the Scottish Government or the SNP, but right for the people of Scotland.

"I think it's only fair if we're asking people in Scotland to consider the question of independence then we give them as much clarity as we possibly can."

The First Minister also offered other alternatives to May's Brexit deal, such as a new deal which kept the UK in the European single market and customs union, or a second Brexit vote.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1399517-nicola-sturgeon-i-have-mandate-to-hold-indyref2-by-2021/ | default

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