IndyRef2 : Date set as Scotland aims for 2nd Independence Referendum

The Scottish government has announced its intention to hold a second Independence Referendum on October 19 2023.

The SNP said its government has a ‘clear democratic mandate to deliver a referendum on Scottish independence’ as it made its proposal.

As such, it has now launched a series of papers to set out the case for independence.

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also now announced plans to publish the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill confirming the date of the Referendum.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Independence supporters gather at an IndyRef2 rally in George Square on November 2, 2019 in Glasgow,Scotland. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who will address the crowd, has claimed independence is "within touching distance" ahead of a speech to supporters at a major rally in Glasgow. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon said at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood today: “What I am not willing to do, what I will never do is allow Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any Prime Minister.”

The First Minister said the Referendum must be lawful, and she will write to Boris Johnson seeking his consent.

She added that ‘legal clarity, legal fact’ was necessary to establish and safeguard the ability of the Scottish Parliament to deliver a Referendum on the date proposed.

Nicola Sturgeon said she has also asked the Lord Advocate to refer to the Supreme Court to ask if measures in the Bill relate to reserved matters.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JUNE 28: Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses MSPs at Holyrood on June 28, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sturgeon has justified her call for a new independence referendum by citing changes to the state of the UK since the "Indy Ref", coupled with a perceived mandate from the last Scottish elections. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Ms Sturgeon said that the Lord Advocate has agreed to make a reference of the provisions in the Bill to the Supreme Court.

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If the Referendum goes ahead as planned polls suggest Scotland could indeed break away the United Kingdom and become an independent nation, in a move which could prove fatal for the union.

For those in Ireland hoping to see reunification, an independent Scotland would likely help realise a border poll in the north with the choice of remaining with England and Wales or forging a newly reunited Ireland encompassing the north and south.

In a statement posted on the SNP’s website summarising the developments, it states that “While some unionist politicians desperately try to deny Scotland’s mandate, the facts are clear”.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 20: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (R) and Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O'Neill ahead of a meeting at Bute House on May 20, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. O'Neill became the leader of the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly after recent elections. O'Neill and Sturgeon met to discuss areas of common ground including the cost of living crisis, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the formation of the new Northern Ireland Executive. (Photo by Jane Barlow - Pool / Getty Images)
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The SNP website states: “In the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, the SNP and the Scottish Greens stood on explicitly pro-independence manifestos, pledging to hold an independence referendum in the current term of the Parliament.

“The election resulted in a record high pro-independence vote, with: The highest ever number of votes for pro-independence parties; The highest ever vote share for pro-independence parties; The highest ever number of pro-independence MSPs, with an increased majority at Holyrood; A pro-independence majority government, formed by the SNP and the Greens.

“This clear electoral victory in 2021, further reinforced by the SNP’s and the Greens’ record performance in the 2022 local elections, amounts to a clear mandate for Scotland’s right to choose.

“Research shows that majority of people in Scotland agree: there is a mandate. Evidence from the 2021 Scottish Election Study shows that a decisive majority – 61% – of people in Scotland recognise the Scottish Government’s mandate to hold an independence referendum.

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“Right across the board, and in every question asked, the study found that a majority of people in Scotland believed there was a mandate.”

The last Scottish Independence Referendum happened on September 18, 2014, two years before Brexit, which a majority in Scotland, like the north of Ireland, voted against.

In the 2014 Referendum the question asked was, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The No side won with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting for it.