Scotland plans to hold a second independence referendum likely between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019, its First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
Speaking in Edinburgh today, Sturgeon said she will seek the authority of the Scottish Parliament next week to legislate for a second referendum.
Sturgeon said another vote would “give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want”, as the UK looks set to opt for a hard Brexit and leave the single market.
Sturgeon said: “I will now take the steps necessary to make sure Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process.
“A choice of whether to follow the UK to a hard Brexit or to become an independent country, able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the UK and our own relationship with Europe.
“I can confirm today that next week I will seek the authority of the Scottish parliament to agree with the UK government the details of a Section 30 order, the procedure that will enable the Scottish parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.”
Timing-wise she said it was for the Scottish parliament to decide but it should be “when options are clearer than they are now but before it is too late to decide our own path”.
With this in mind she said between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 was most appropriate in her view.
In the 2014 independence vote Scotland voted to remain by 55% to 45%.
However the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 despite 63% of Scots wanting to Remain.
Mark Dyason, mortgage & protection adviser at Edinburgh Mortgage Advice, said: “They are the Scottish National Party; they are pro-independence, give them an excuse and they’ll go for it.
“It’s a shame they are not spending more time governing the country well and there isn’t a strong opposition to hold them to account.
“It’s been very well framed as anti-Westminster.”
He added: “Do I think they will win this time? No, the same arguments will come to the fore, however post-Brexit I will not be placing any bets.
“Maybe they should get some busses with fictional numbers on them and it could a winner.
“We had $120-a-barrel oil in the first one and nobody believed it. Maybe this time they well.
“It was originally framed as a once in a generational thing. I don’t know how many generations there have been since the last vote.”
Rather than a Scottish vote Dyason wishes the UK could have another EU vote when the deal is on the table come Spring 2019 or thereabouts.
He said: “We shouldn’t worry about buyer’s remorse with something as big as this.”