Nicola Sturgeon announces bill for new Scottish independence referendum

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement to MSPs. Credit: PA

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs a draft bill will be drawn up setting out the timing, terms and question for a new Scottish independence referendum.

Announcing her programme for government to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said a draft Bill will set out the proposed question people will be asked in a new poll. She said at next year’s Holyrood election she will “make the case for Scotland to become an independent country, and seek a clear endorsement of Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

Responding, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross tweeted: “The First Minister just doesn’t get it.

"We need to take Scotland forward and recover from this crisis together, not go back to the divisions of the past.”

The majority of Scots voted against an independent Scotland. Credit: PA

Announcing her legislative agenda, she said suppressing Covid-19 is “our most immediate priority – and it will remain so for some time”, but her Government would use the disruption of the pandemic to “rethink how we do things”. Announcing a “significant enhancement to Test & Protect”, she said the Government would “launch Protect Scotland, our new proximity tracing app”. “The app will provide an additional means of notifying and giving advice if you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive – even if you don’t know them and they don’t know you,” she said. The NHS Louisa Jordan hospital at the SECC in Glasgow will open through winter, she said, and eligibility for the flu vaccine would be extended to “everyone over the age of 55, social care workers and those who live with shielded people”. Ms Sturgeon said the programme “also lays foundations for the future”. “It establishes a national mission to create new, high-quality, green jobs,” she said.