Sturgeon pledges to 'forge a way' to indyref2 if UK government refuses consent

Nicola Sturgeon launching a new paper on independence
Nicola Sturgeon launching a new paper on independence. Credit: PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to "forge a way" towards holding a second referendum on Scottish independence, even if the UK government continues to refuse consent.

As she launched the first of a series of papers "making the case afresh for Scotland becoming an independent country", the First Minister said she had an "indisputable mandate" for indyref2.

The Scottish government said the document, entitled 'Independence in the Modern World. Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland?' "sets the scene" for the debate about Scotland's future in the UK.

As it was published, Ms Sturgeon said she would continue to push the UK government for a Section 30 order, allowing a second referendum to take place.

However, the First Minister insisted she would "forge a way forwards" if Westminster refused consent.

She said she accepted the "competence" of the Scottish Parliament to legislate for indyref2 without UK government approval was "contested", and said work was "well underway" to navigate this.

The First Minister stressed, however, that any vote on independence "must be lawful".

Ms Sturgeon said she hoped to give a "significant update" to Holyrood "very soon indeed".

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross hit out at the First Minister's comments, telling Ms Sturgeon to "give it a rest and focus on the issues that really matter to people".

Speaking before the First Minister's press conference, Liz Truss repeated the UK government's position that it would not grant the Section 30 order.

The Foreign Secretary said the people of Scotland had voted against independence in 2014, in what was described as a "once in a generation" poll.

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