Nicola Sturgeon to launch second Scottish referendum bid on back of Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon to launch second Scottish referendum bid

Nicola Sturgeon

Friday, September 2, 2016

Nicola Sturgeon will today launch a fresh bid to convince Scotland to back a second independence referendum, hailing the drive as the "biggest-ever political listening exercise".

The SNP leader was cheered by supporters when she announced plans for a summer initiative to boost support for leaving the UK at her party conference in March this year. 

In the wake of the turmoil caused by UK's vote to quit the European Union, and with Labour in-fighting increasing the prospects of the Tories remaining in power in Westminster, the SNP believes the time is right to look again at Scotland's constitutional future.

The First Minister, who has already acknowledged her party's need to win over No voters from the 2014 referendum, will say the campaign will mark a "new conversation and a new debate for these new times".

Ms. Sturgeon is expected to say that the "seismic changes" that took place when Britain voted to leave the European Union will have a "deep impact".

The First Minister is expected to add: "The UK that existed before June 23 has fundamentally changed.

"The debate now is whether we should go forward, protecting our place as a European nation or go backwards, under a Tory government with very different priorities.

"And while we will pursue all options to protect our interests, the debate must include an examination of independence in what are profoundly changed circumstances

"To ensure that the voice of everyone in Scotland is heard in these changed times, I am today launching Scotland's biggest ever political listening exercise - a new conversation and a new debate for these new times."

The event comes nearly nearly two years on from the September 2014 referendum, which saw Scots vote by 55% to 45% in favour or remaining in the United Kingdom.

But immediately after the Brexit vote in June this year, which saw Scots vote to stay in the EU while the UK opted to leave, Ms Sturgeon warned that a second vote on the matter was "highly likely".