Scottish nationalists set out 'triggers' for new independence vote

Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon to include triggers for second independence referendum in party's manifesto

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Sep 13, 2015

The Sunday Herald on Saturday said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is going to include triggers for a second independence referendum in the in her party's manifesto for the Scottish election in 2016.

Sturgeon reportedly told the newspaper, although it did not provide a direct quote, that the 2016 manifesto would arrange triggers for a second independence referendum.

Though spectacular gains were by made by Scottish nationalists in the UK's May 7 general election, British Prime Minister David Cameron played down the possibility of another independence referendum, saying the Scots had "emphatically" objected to breaking away from the UK in last year's referendum.

When asked about the report, a spokesman for the party said, "There is no new story here."

"There are certain circumstances in which there may be a need for another referendum but that is ultimately for the people to decide," he added.

SNP leader Sturgeon has previously said there could only be another independence vote if Scots vote for a party which proposed one in a Scottish parliamentary election.

One is due to take place in May 2016 but so far Sturgeon has refused to say directly whether she would include a referendum pledge in the party's manifesto.

After Jeremy Corbyn was elected on Saturday as the new leader of the opposition Labour Party, Sturgeon cautioned that if his party failed to show quickly that it could beat Cameron's Conservatives in the next national election then the desire for Scottish independence would rise.

"If Labour cannot quickly demonstrate that they have a credible chance of winning the next UK general election, many more people in Scotland are likely to conclude that independence is the only alternative to continued Tory [Conservative] government," she said.

"The reality today is that at a time when the country needs strong opposition to the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn leads a deeply, and very bitterly, divided party."

Sturgeon has previously warned that if England voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on membership that Cameron has promised by the end of 2017 then Scotland could seek a second independence referendum if its people voted to stay in the EU.

TRTWorld and agencies