In brief

Sturgeon to start “process” next year to enable referendum in Scotland before end of 2023

UK government opposes new vote on independence

Nicola Sturgeon, at the 2021 Conference.
Nicola Sturgeon, at the 2021 Conference. Author: SNP
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that next year she will begin “the process necessary to enable a referendum before the end of 2023.” Sturgeon said this at the Annual Conference of his party, the SNP.

The referendum is an SNP election promise. But UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, does not want to grant permission to hold the vote, as he believes that efforts should now be focused on recovery plans from the covid crisis, and furthermore he considers that no second independence vote should be organised until the 2040s —the first was in 2014.

Faced with such refusal, Sturgeon seized the Conference to address Johnson: “If you have any respect at all for democracy —and if you have any confidence whatsoever in your argument against independence— you too will let the people decide.”

Disagreement between governments could lead the matter to the courts, lengthen deadlines or simply prevent the vote from being held in the short term, as we told you here.

However, in August the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, acknowledged that the referendum would end up being held if a continuous series of polls showed that 60% of the Scottish population supported it.