Sturgeon asked if she will ‘sue her way to indyref2’

She was challenged by Jackson Carlaw at the final FMQs before the general election.

Nicola Sturgeon has been pressed on whether she will “sue her way to indyref2” in the final First Minister’s Questions before Thursday’s general election.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw challenged the First Minister over recent comments that she would “consider all options” if a request for a second independence referendum was refused by the UK Government.

Sturgeon said her priority was to “ensure we’re not waking up on Friday morning to a Boris Johnson government”.

The Prime Minister has said he will not sanction a fresh independence vote, while Jeremy Corbyn has indicated none would be allowed in the “early years” of a Labour government.

On the eve of voters going to the polls, presiding officer Ken Macintosh urged MSPs – fruitlessly – not to engage in “direct electioneering” during the rowdy session.

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Carlaw first asked Sturgeon if she had any recent discussions with Jeremy Corbyn amid the possibility of a hung parliament, to which she answered: “None.”

The Scottish Tory leader raised an interview the First Minister had done the previous week where she said she would “consider all options” to make an independence referendum “legal and legitimate”.

Ahead of the 2014 referendum, then-PM David Cameron agreed a transfer of Section 30 powers to Holyrood in order that Scotland could hold the vote.

Sturgeon says she wants the same kind of deal for a second referendum to put it “beyond legal challenge”, despite all the main UK party leaders saying they would not sign off on that before her preferred time for the vote of 2020.

Carlaw asked: “Can the First Minister clarify what she meant by ‘all options’, and seriously, would she sue her way to indyref2?”

Sturgeon answered: “There’s an easy solution to all of these worries Jackson Carlaw clearly has, and it is this easy solution: the Tories could just respect the will of the Scottish people.”

She added: “If the SNP win the election tomorrow, perhaps that’s the best advice for Jackson Carlaw.

“Let me tell Jackson Carlaw what my priority is tomorrow – it’s to make sure I do everything I can to ensure we’re not waking up on Friday morning to a Boris Johnson government.”

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Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard led on issues around the NHS, accusing the Scottish Government of letting down GPs in Dundee who are locked in lease negotiations with NHS Tayside.

The First Minister said her ministers were investing “heavily” in improving general practices and primary care.

Leonard countered: “Scotland is in the grip of a GP crisis. The very survival of GP services is at stake.

“And incredibly, the government still has no accurate, no up-to-date information and therefore no idea how many full-time equivalent GPs there are in Scotland.

“It has no accurate and so no up-to-date information and therefore no idea how long patients are waiting to see a GP but we all know they are waiting too long.

“Patients who need a GP appointment are being let down. GPs like those in Dundee who need your support are being let down.

“After 12 years of your government, Scotland is being let down… GPs and patients need a government that is on their side.”

Sturgeon said the number of GPs working in Scotland is 5049 – an increase on the previous year – with more GPs per head of population than there are in England, or Labour-controlled Wales.

Alison Johnstone, Holyrood co-leader of the Scottish Greens, criticised the “cosy consensus” between the other parties in the Scottish Parliament on continuing fossil fuel extraction.

The First Minister said her government has “the most ambitious climate targets of any country in the world”, but insisted the transition away from oil and gas must be “just and fair”.

The Liberal Democrats did not have a question at this week’s First Minister’s Questions.

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