Nicola Sturgeon tells Scottish parliament she wants to hold second independence referendum next October – live | Politics


Sturgeon says she wants to hold second independence referendum on 19 October 2023

Sturgeon says she will set out what the Scottish government will do if the UK government does not grant a section 30 order.

She says the referendum must be lawful. And that must be a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion, she says.

She says the Scottish government is publishing today its Scottish independence refernedum bill.

She says there are three key provisions in the bill.

First, its purpose is “to ascertain the views of the people of Scotland on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country”.

Second, the question should be the same as in 2014, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

And, third, she says the referendum should be in the second half of this parliament.

She says the Scottish goverment wants it to be held on 19 October 2023.

Strugeon’s statement – snap verdict

Nicola Sturgeon has now finished her statement.

Her challenge today was to explain how she would facilitate the legal referendum she wants if the UK goverment continues to block it. Despite speculation that she might indentify some clever wheeze to sidestep this, she has stuck very firmly to the legal route, and her first announcement is what is effectively a referral to the supreme court.

Court challenges are never predictable. But the chances of a successful application seem unlikely, particularly in the light of evidence that the supreme court recently has become increasingly likely to resist judgments that challenge the executive (as a finding for the Scottish government certainly would).

Sturgeon’s second announcement was that, in the event of her supreme court appeal failing, she will turn the next general election in Scotland into a de facto vote on the case for independence. The advantage of this tactic is that first past the post works brilliantly for the SNP at the moment – they won 48 out of 59 seats in 2019 – and so it is not hard to see an outcome that would look like a landslide mandate for independence.

And what then? Sturgeon did not address this at all in her statement – and it is some way in the future – but at that point an SNP government in Edinburgh might feel on safer ground reviving the idea of legislating for independence without Westminster approval – or even without a referendum.

Sturgeon says, if supreme court blocks second referendum, SNP will make independence its single general election issue

Sturgeon says if the supreme court rules that the referendum is not lawful, that will be the fault of the referendum written in Westminster.

She says there will be no more powerful argument for the need for independence.

And if the supreme court, and the Westminster government, continue to block a refernedum, the SNP will fight the next general election on the sole platform that Scotland should be independent.

Sturgeon says Scottish goverment making emergency referral to supreme court for ruling on whether referendum bill lawful

Sturgeon says she wants to have legal certainty. “We must establish legal fact” she says.

She says there are likely to be legal challenges to the bill.

But she wants to speed this up, she says.

She says she has asked the lord advocate, Dorothy Bain QC, to use the power in paragraph 34 of schedule 6 of Scotland Act to refer this to the supreme court.

This is a matter for the lord advocate alone.

She has agreed to make a reference to the supreme court.

The paperwork is being served now, she says, and it will be filed with the supreme court this aftenroon

Sturgeon says she wants to hold second independence referendum on 19 October 2023

Sturgeon says she will set out what the Scottish government will do if the UK government does not grant a section 30 order.

She says the referendum must be lawful. And that must be a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion, she says.

She says the Scottish government is publishing today its Scottish independence refernedum bill.

She says there are three key provisions in the bill.

First, its purpose is “to ascertain the views of the people of Scotland on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country”.

Second, the question should be the same as in 2014, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

And, third, she says the referendum should be in the second half of this parliament.

She says the Scottish goverment wants it to be held on 19 October 2023.

Sturgeon says she will not allow ‘Scottish democracy to be prisoner of Boris Johnson’

Sturgeon says she is writing to Boris Johnson to ask him to agree a section 30 order to allow a second independence referendum.

She says she is prepared to negotiate the terms of this with him.

But she will not allow “Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson”.

Sturgeon says Scotland needs independence to respond properly to cost of living crisis

Sturgeon says her government will do all it can to tackle the cost of living crisis.

But it does not have all the powers it needs, she says.

We lacked the full range of levers to shape our economy and grow our country’s wealth. We are powerless to stop our budget being cut. We can’t block the Tories new anti trade union laws or stop them tearing up human rights protections. We’re not able to restore freedom of movement and where we invest billions in measures to help with the cost of living, tens of thousands of children can be pushed deeper into poverty at the merest stroke of the chancellor’s pen.

She says independence will give Scotland the chance “to chart our own course”.

Nicola Sturgeon’s statement to MSPs about plans for second independence referendum

Nicola Sturgeon tells MSPs the democratic rights of the people of Scotland are paramount.

That was set out in the Claim of Right for Scotland, she says.

She quotes Canon Kenyon Wright’s quote in response to the question, what do you do if government says ‘We say no [to the right to independence] and we are the state’. The answer, Wright replied, was, “We say yes, and we are the people.’

Cabinet secretary says it is ‘very difficult’ for civil servants to investigate PM

Q: How easy is it for a civil servant like you, or Sue Gray, to conduct an investigation into the PM?

Case says it is “very difficult, and to be avoided wherever possible”.

He says the role of independent adviser was partly created to stop that happening.

Q: Did you advise PM that Lord Geidt would be the best person to investigate Partygate?

Case says he will not comment on what he advised the PM. But the original terms of reference said matters relating to the ministerial code should be for the independent adviser.

Q: What is the point of having an independent adviser if he does not investigate matters like this?

Case says there is provision in the ministerial code for the PM to ask the Cabinet Office to establish the facts.

The Sue Gray report did not go into ministerial code issues, he says.

Q: Was Gray asked to remove names from the report?

Case says he was not involved in the report. He recused himself.

Johnson decided to consult Geidt over WTO tariff plan that prompted his resignation, MPs told

Q: Whose decision was it to consult Lord Geidt on a prospective breach of WTO rules?

Case says it was the PM’s decision.

Q: Is it normal practice to consult him on trade policy?

Darren Tierney, director general for propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, who is giving evidence alongside Case, says the adviser is not asked about policy issues. But in this case there was an overlap with the ministerial code.

Q: Was Geidt asked about the Northern Ireland protocol bill?

No, says Case. He says the ministerial code did not apply in this case.

William Wragg (Con), the committee chair, says it was an unusual matter to resign over. He suggests it was an excuse.

Case says Geidt explained his resignation in his letter.

Case tells MPs that Alex Allan and Lord Geidt, who both resigned as independent adviser on ministerial standards to Boris Johnson in protest at his conduct, were both “fine civil servants”.

Johnson thinks he has mandate ‘to test established boundaries’, cabinet secretary tells MPs

Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, is giving evidence to the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee. There is a live feed here.

He starts by admitting that dealing with ethics and propriety issues are a particularly difficult part of his job. He says the “current circumstances” show why. He goes on:

The government of the day is one which is not remotely afraid of controversial policies. It believes it has a mandate to test established boundaries. It takes a robust view of the national interest …. and it focuses very much on accountability to people in parliament, not on the sort of unelected advisory structures.

Simon Case
Simon Case Photograph: HoC
Richard Adams

Richard Adams

Another sign that Covid may be spreading again through the population: attendance rates at both primary and secondary schools have fallen sharply after weeks of recovery, according to the Department for Education’s latest figures.

Attendance of pupils at state-funded primary schools in England was 91% last week, down from 94.0% two weeks before. In secondary schools – excluding Y11 and Y13 classes taking exams – attendance was 87%, down from 88.5%. More teachers and teaching assistants were also absent in the new survey.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was “very worrying” to see the numbers of students and staff absent rising again. He said:

These statistics no longer contain a breakdown of absence due to Covid because of the government’s ‘living with Covid’ policies. However, it is highly unlikely to be a coincidence that we are seeing absence in education settings rising at the same time as Covid infections are increasing in the general population.

Our concern is that this is going to keep happening with wave after wave of infections causing fresh disruption in our schools and colleges. There is absolutely no government strategy to deal with this issue.

Sunak tells MPs he will consider case for fuel duty to be cut further

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, has told MPs that he will consider calls for fuel duty to be cut further.

At Treasury questions in the Commons Philip Davies (Con) that the 5p per litre cut in duty already announced was welcome. But he urged Sunak to go further, and asked him to consider “a much more substantial cut in fuel duty, on a temporary basis, just as they’ve done in Germany”.

Sunak replied:

What I will say to [Davies] is of course I will take all his recommendations under advisement …

Sunak said the goverment had already spend £5bn cutting fuel duty. He went on:

But we appreciate it is not being felt at the pumps because of the rise in wholesale prices. I want to reassure [Davies] that the energy secretary is in dialogue with the CMA [Competition and Markets Authority)]to make sure that fuel duty cut is being passed on as well.



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