Stur­geon set to re­veal her ‘thoughts on in­de­pen­dence’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY TOM TORRANCE

NICOLA Stur­geon will make a “de­tailed and sub­stan­tive” speech to­day about plans for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence, her spokesman has con­firmed.

The First Min­is­ter is due to make a 30-minute state­ment in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

She will set out her “thoughts on in­de­pen­dence and how that re­lates to where the coun­try cur­rently finds it­self”.

Ms Stur­geon’s spokesman said: “The First Min­is­ter will give a de­tailed and sub­stan­tive state­ment set­ting out the path for­ward for Scot­land amid the on­go­ing Brexit con­fu­sion at West­min­ster.

“The First Min­is­ter will take time to set out her thoughts on that front and in do­ing so she will seek to strike an in­clu­sive tone.”

The Scot­tish Par­lia­ment Bureau, which de­ter­mines day-to-day busi­ness at Holy­rood, con­firmed it has ap­proved Ms Stur­geon’s re­quest to ad­dress MSPs later to­day, fol­lowed by an hour of ques­tions.

With the state­ment com­ing just days be­fore the SNP’s party con­fer­ence in Ed­in­burgh, the spokesman said Ms Stur­geon had opted to make the state­ment “at the first avail­able op­por­tu­nity” since the EU granted a six­month ex­ten­sion to the Article 50 process.

After a cab­i­net brief­ing on Tues­day morn­ing, min­is­ters were said to be “happy” with de­tails of Ms Stur­geon’s plans to ad­dress Par­lia­ment, with her spokesman adding: “There was pos­i­tive feed­back from Cab­i­net col­leagues.”

Ms Stur­geon is not thought to have no­ti­fied Theresa May or Down­ing Street of her planned state­ment.

Asked what the Prime Min­is­ter’s re­sponse would be to calls for a Sec­tion 30 or­der to pave the way for a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, her of­fi­cial spokesman said: “You know the Prime Min­is­ter’s position on that and it has not changed.

“First and fore­most, let’s wait and see what the First Min­is­ter says.”

Lat­est polling from De­cem­ber, pub­lished on the im­par­tial What Scot­land Thinks web­site, sug­gests another ref­er­en­dum would be 51 per cent to 45 per cent in favour of no to in­de­pen­dence.

Nicola Stur­geon will give a speech to­day

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