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UK: Sturgeon opens debate on second independence referendum at Scottish Parliament01:48

UK: Sturgeon opens debate on second independence referendum at Scottish Parliament

United Kingdom, Edinburgh
March 21, 2017 at 16:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon opened the debate on a second independence referendum in Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, on Tuesday. The SNP leader is hoping the Holyrood will back her party's request for a Section 30 order from Westminster before the finalisation of the Brexit deal.

Sturgeon said that although Scottish Parliament had been supportive in her efforts to "stand up" for Scotland's interests, "nine months on there is no indication at all that this parliament’s voice has carried any weight at Westminster".

"The question before this chamber is simple", said the SNP leader: "Who gets to make that decision? The answer to that question cannot be me and it cannot be the prime minister. The decision about kind of country we are and what path we take can only be made by the people of Scotland."

Scottish Conservative Party Leader Ruth Davidson shot back, saying that the SNP wasn't trying "to hold a fair, legal and decisive referendum" but that their attempts are part of a "well-rehearsed game" to "put forward an unworkable proposal, to wait for Westminster politicians to point it out and then to rush to any nearby microphone with the angry face on and to trot out the same old tired complaints."

Sturgeon has suggested a referendum date between the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019.

UK: Sturgeon opens debate on second independence referendum at Scottish Parliament01:48
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First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon opened the debate on a second independence referendum in Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, on Tuesday. The SNP leader is hoping the Holyrood will back her party's request for a Section 30 order from Westminster before the finalisation of the Brexit deal.

Sturgeon said that although Scottish Parliament had been supportive in her efforts to "stand up" for Scotland's interests, "nine months on there is no indication at all that this parliament’s voice has carried any weight at Westminster".

"The question before this chamber is simple", said the SNP leader: "Who gets to make that decision? The answer to that question cannot be me and it cannot be the prime minister. The decision about kind of country we are and what path we take can only be made by the people of Scotland."

Scottish Conservative Party Leader Ruth Davidson shot back, saying that the SNP wasn't trying "to hold a fair, legal and decisive referendum" but that their attempts are part of a "well-rehearsed game" to "put forward an unworkable proposal, to wait for Westminster politicians to point it out and then to rush to any nearby microphone with the angry face on and to trot out the same old tired complaints."

Sturgeon has suggested a referendum date between the autumn of 2018 and spring of 2019.

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