On Wednesday 24th April, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, outlined the steps being taken by the Scottish Government to move forward the debate on Scotland’s future in light of Brexit by protecting the option for an independence referendum to be held within the current term of the Scottish Parliament.
During her speech the First Minister called for consensus to be built across all parties to tackle a constitutional “status quo which is broken” and called on other parties to engage in talks to determine which other powers they would like to see come home to Scotland. She also unveiled plans to establish a Citizens’ Assembly to bring together Scottish society to seek views on how best to equip Scotland’s Parliament for the challenges of the future.
The First Minister also made it clear that the Scottish Government will act now to protect and progress the option for an independence referendum to be held, by introducing a framework Bill, which will set the rules and principles for any referendum.
This Bill will protect the option of an independence referendum within this parliamentary term. Once the Bill is passed it would only require the transfer of power at a later date via a Section 30 Order to proceed to a vote on independence.
Welcoming these announcements, Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:
“The past years have served to highlight just how badly this mess of a Westminster system serves Scotland. Time and time again Scotland’s interests are forgotten, side-lined or blatantly ignored. As the First Minister says, the devolution settlement in its current form is totally inadequate.
“By putting forward the option for a referendum before the end of this parliamentary term in 2021, the Scottish Government has committed to protecting the right of the Scottish people to have a say in their own destiny. That is something we in the SNP will always stand up for.
“The coming months will be make or break for the UK. If Scotland is dragged out of the European Union and if the opposition parties prove incapable of reforming the UK then it is only a matter of time before Scotland takes its place in the European family of nations as an Independent country.”