Nicola Sturgeon warns of imminent second referendum

Nicola Sturgeon warns of imminent second referendum

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Nicola Sturgeon has said a second independence referendum will become a “legitimate, almost necessary” step unless Scotland secures a special relationship with the European Union before article 50 is triggered.

There is growing speculation Sturgeon will use her conference speech in Aberdeen later in March to confirm she plans to table a new referendum bill at Holyrood, or demand the UK government gives Holyrood the powers to stage one.

Sturgeon told the David Hume Institute on Tuesday the prime minister had to prove that Scotland would have a bespoke deal before she triggered article 50 by the end of March.

Sturgeon said that if May failed to do so, then “proposing a further decision on independence wouldn’t simply be legitimate, it would almost be a necessary way of giving the people of Scotland a say in our own future direction”.

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