Sturgeon to update MSPs on indyref2 plans next week

The First Minister's spokesman said she remains 'committed' to holding a vote this year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will update Holyrood on her independence plans next week after the Prime Minister refused her request for the powers to hold a second independence vote.

A spokesman for the First Minister confirmed she will set out her government’s next steps to MSPs in the coming days and said she remains “committed” to holding a referendum this year.

She wrote to Boris Johnson in the wake of the general election on December 12, which saw the Tories win a UK-wide majority but lose more than half of their seats in Scotland to a surging SNP.

Sturgeon’s party won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats, and in her letter to Johnson the SNP leader said the result reinforced her mandate and the “democratic case” for indyref2.

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But her demand for powers to hold a vote under Section 30 of the Scotland Act was flatly rejected by the PM, who said last week a second referendum would result in “continued… political stagnation” in Scotland.

The First Minister says she wants to hold a fresh ballot on independence during the latter half of 2020.

A spokesman for Sturgeon said: “The FM will seek to update before the end of the month, as she indicated.”

He said ministers were still “committed” to holding a referendum this year, saying this position had been “endorsed” by voters in the general election.

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The spokesman added: “It will be an update following the Prime Minister’s reply to the First Minister, which was delivered this time last week.

“It will be an update from our side on how we intend to move things forward in light of that reply.”