First minister confident Labour leader would approve indyref2
Nicola Sturgeon is to demand the power to stage a second Scottish independence referendum just days after next month’s general election – with the first minister saying she believes Jeremy Corbyn will agree to grant it.
The SNP leader said she wants Scots to “demonstrate the desire” for independence by voting for her party, adding that opposition to another referendum is not sustainable.
When asked at an election rally in Leith, Edinburgh, whether she believes Labour would grant a Section 30 Order to enable a vote on Scottish independence, Ms Sturgeon answered emphatically: “Yes.”
Explaining her confidence, she added: “I’m a believer in the power of democracy.”
She said she would interpret a strong SNP result at the election as an endorsement for another referendum, and urged “savvy” voters to back her party “to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard” – even if they are in favour of the Union.
“If people in Scotland demonstrate the desire, as I believe they will in this election, for an independence referendum, then I don’t believe Westminster opposition to the principle or to the timetable to that will prove to be sustainable,” she said.
While Ms Sturgeon has held talks with Mr Corbyn recently, she revealed they did not discuss the issue of independence.
“I met with him last week – that was the most recent occasion – and that was about Brexit and the prospects, as they were then, of an election,” she said.
“I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is under any illusions, though, about my position around independence and a referendum.”
Ms Sturgeon said she would send a letter “before Christmas” to whoever is in 10 Downing Street requesting powers under Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to grant the Scottish Parliament powers to hold another vote.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie accused Labour of being willing to grant another referendum, while he said the Conservatives are “proposing a border down the middle of the Irish Sea”.
He said: “Scotland doesn’t need another independence referendum.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only ones who can be trusted to stand up for the Union.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launches his party’s general election campaign