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First Minister seeks Indyref2 before the end of 2023 as she lays out her programme for government

By Scott Maclennan

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Nicola Sturgeon speaking at Holyrood.
Nicola Sturgeon speaking at Holyrood.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that her government will seek to hold a second independence referendum before the end of 2023.

Setting out the programme for government for the coming year, the First Minister made it clear that work will restart on independence that has been halted due to Covid.

Ms Sturgeon has already made it clear that she believes the deal with the Greens strengthens the bid for IndyRef2 as pro-independence parties are in the majority.

“Our democratic mandate to allow people to decide the country’s future is beyond question,” she said.

“And at this juncture in history, it is essential that we consider the kind of country we want to be, and how best to secure it. As we emerge from the pandemic, choices fall to be made that will shape our economy and society for decades to come.

“Which Parliament – Westminster or Holyrood – should make these choices? And what principles will they be guided by? These are questions which cannot be avoided, nor postponed until the die is already cast.

“So we intend to offer the choice. We will do so only when the Covid crisis has passed but our aim, Covid permitting, is that it will be in the first half of this Parliament – before the end of 2023.

“Crucially, we will ensure that the choice – when it comes – is a fully informed one. To that end, I can confirm that the Scottish Government will now restart work on the detailed prospectus that will guide the decision.

“The case for independence is strong and we will present it openly, frankly and with confidence. Building a better future for those who come after us should be the ambition of any government.”

Related Story – Former First Minister Alex Salmond discusses whether Scotland is ready for Independence

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