Thu, 23 March 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
One year on, has Essex begun to be levelled up? Partner content
By Essex County Council
Press releases

SNP MP says independence could take 20 years, ahead of Nicola Sturgeon announcement

SNP MP says independence could take 20 years, ahead of Nicola Sturgeon announcement
2 min read

A senior SNP MP has hinted at a twenty-year timeframe for Scotland to become independent, as Nicola Sturgeon prepares to make a statement on her plans for another referendum. 

There is speculation that the First Minister will announce that she is rowing back from her proposal, set out in March, for a second vote on independence to take place between next autumn and spring 2019 – before the UK formally leaves the European Union.

Ms Sturgeon will outline her position in a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

Ahead of that, SNP MP Pete Wishart said the Scottish Government had to be “flexible and agile” about the timing of a vote.

“We’re living in very tumultuous times, opinions changing almost weekly but one thing is absolutely certain – and I think any opinion poll shows this – the majority of Scottish people believe that at some point in the next twenty years Scotland will be an independent country,” he told Sky News.

The Perth MP stressed he had “no idea” about the content of Ms Sturgeon’s statement, and he insisted the fundamental argument in favour of another referendum remained strong.

But he suggested the timetable for a vote could be altered to reflect changes to the progress of Brexit negotiations.

Mr Wishart added: “At some point Scotland will have to make a decision: whether it wants to be part of a United Kingdom which is clearly going to be coming out of the European Union – probably or possibly under the worst possible conditions – or whether we want to make our own arrangements within the European Union. I don’t think any of that changes; I think Scotland still requires that decision to be made.

“There will be talk about timelines because this seems to be an ever-changing feast: we thought that we’d have the details of Brexit, possibly as early as the autumn of next year. That looks highly unlikely now and I think we have to be flexible and agile in order to keep up to speed with the timetable that’s been determined by the Prime Minister.”

Elsewhere, Mr Wishart is set to demand the resignation of Scotland Secretary David Mundell for failing to secure more money for Scotland as a result of the Government’s £1bn deal with the DUP.

He said Mr Mundell’s position was “untenable”, and confirmed he would apply for an emergency Commons debate on the issue. 

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Josh May - David Davis: Brexit negotiations with the EU will get 'turbulent'

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more