Nicola Sturgeon is calling for a second Scottish referendum “in the earlier part” of her next term.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: “I’ve not put a date on it yet. I have not ruled it out nor I have ruled it in. I think that is right not least because of the challenge the country is facing coming out of and rebuilding from Covid. Scotland should have the opportunity to choose whether to become independent in the earlier, rather than the later, part of the next parliament.”
Since the start of the pandemic, polls have continually shown majority favour for independence. Boris Johnson, however, has said that while he in power he will not allow another referendum.
The Scottish Minister has not honed in on specific timings for another referendum and emphasised the importance on rebuilding Scotland amid the pandemic.
She said: “I think the referendum should, for a whole variety of reasons, be in the earlier part of the next parliament.”
“I intend to say more about this before the election in our manifesto, but we are still in a global pandemic that I feel a bit more hopeful about seeing the end of than I did even just a couple of months ago.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead. I’m a life-long believer and campaigner and advocate for independence, but right now I’m also the first minister of Scotland. My responsibility is to the health and wellbeing of the country and trying to steer it through a pandemic and I’m very focused on that,” added Sturgeon.
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said that the country should only be focusing on emerging from the pandemic.
“Scotland has been through huge turmoil over the last nine months. We haven’t even embarked on the economic recovery from the pandemic and the first minister wants to spend months or even years dividing the country over Scotland going its own way with independence,” said Rennie.