- Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images
- Scottish first minister says people are tired of “making political decisions”. Sturgeon says she will not give up on hopes of a second Scottish independence referendum before Brexit. Decision to campaign on a referendum is credited with losing dozens of seats for the SNP. Labour and Conservatives call on Sturgeon to give up all plans for another poll.
LONDON – Nicola Sturgeon has put her plans for a second Scottish independence referendum on pause, acknowledging that the Scottish people are tired of “making political decisions”.
The SNP’s decision to campaign for a second referendum is widely credited with losing the party dozens of seats in this month’s general election.
The Scottish First Minister said her government would retain the option of holding another referendum at the end of Brexit negotiations, but that it was not the time to push through the legislation for another referendum now.
“The mandate we have is beyond doubt but deciding exactly how and when to exercise it is a judgement in the interests of the country as a whole and that is what I have been thinking carefully about,” she told the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
She acknowledged that “some voters want a break from making political decisions,” adding that “I have a duty to listen to those views and I intend to do so.”
“I recognise that people do not feel ready right now to say when that choice should happen because of the uncertainty caused, not just by Brexit, but by the reckless Brexit this government is pursuing.”
Sturgeon said the Scottish government had “reset” its position on a second referendum.
“The Scottish government will reset the plan. We will not seek to introduce the legislation for a second referendum immediately.”
However, she insisted that she had a “mandate” to call another referendum if she chose to at a later date.
“The Scottish government has a mandate to offer the people of Scotland that choice. We have won not one, but two elections with that explicit commitment in our manifesto and the Scottish Parliament has endorsed that position.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson accused Sturgeon of failing to listen to the people, after the SNP lost dozens of seats in this month’s general election.
“[Whether they’re] yes and no voters, most people just don’t want this question brought back any time soon,” Davidson said.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the first minister should not “double down” on calls for a referendum but accept that the idea was now “dead” in Scotland.