Scottish first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon is to address the Holyrood parliament on her plans for a second independence referendum after her party made losses in the June 8 general election.
“I’ll be seeking agreement of [Scottish Parliament] to make a statement later today on the way forward for Scotland after the General Election,” she tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Sturgeon and her party had warned Prime Minister Theresa May that following the divisive Brexit vote, where 62 percent of Scotland opted to remain in the European Union, she would be seeking permission to call a second independence referendum. The overall result saw 52 percent of Brits choosing Brexit.
Reports at the weekend, however, suggested that Sturgeon is now setting aside her plans for independence so she can focus on pushing for a ‘soft Brexit.’
While her original timetable published in March saw a new vote on Scottish independence taking place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, she is said to have been “reflecting” on the plan following the snap election of June 8.
Much like May’s Conservative Party, the SNP lost a chunk of its seats in the House of Commons. The losses were particularly felt by the party’s Westminster group, which lost leader Angus Robertson and 21 other MPs.
The Scottish Greens have urged the SNP leader not to back down on her bid to have a second referendum.
“Following the 2017 General Election, it is clear that some are making the case that the relative fortunes of the political parties in Scotland give a basis for claiming that the right of people in Scotland to decide their constitutional future has been ‘rejected,’” Greens co-conveners Maggie Chapman and Patrick Harvie said in a letter to the first minister.
“We cannot accept this and we urge you not to.”
Sturgeon will make her statement on Tuesday before Parliament goes into recess on Thursday.