Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Nicola Sturgeon names October 2023 date for independence referendum

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon triggered a legal showdown at the UK’s highest court to secure a second independence referendum on October 19 next year.

The first minister named the date as she outlined a long-awaited roadmap to get past Westminster’s refusal to grant a vote.

“The issue of independence cannot be suppressed. It must be resolved through a process that is above reproach and commands confidence,” she said in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

“My determination is to secure a process that allows the people of Scotland to express their views in a legal, constitutional referendum.”

However, Ms Sturgeon signalled a long legal battle ahead.

The process will be referred to the Supreme Court by Scotland’s Lord Advocate, the country’s top law officer.

The first minister warned that if she cannot hold a vote next year, her party will fight the next Westminster election as a “defacto” referendum.

Boris Johnson says no

In a letter to Boris Johnson, the SNP leader said she is still willing to negotiate a legal agreement, known as a section 30 order, with the prime minister.

She claimed the Tory leader was “refusing to respect” democracy north of the border.

Ms Sturgeon also says the question on the next referendum ballot paper will be the same as in 2014.

Eight years ago, voters were asked: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes or No.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross warned against a second referendum.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said he will not take part.

He insisted another referendum should not take place and claimed the first minister is “obsessed” with holding a second vote “at all costs”.

The Holyrood Conservative chief branded Ms Sturgeon’s proposed referendum a “pretend poll”.

ernie ross
Labour’s Anas Sarwar.

Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar warned against a rerun of the 2014 ballot and said now was not the time.

He insisted the first minister was more focused on trying to “divide our country” instead of prioritising Scotland’s Covid recovery.

Ms Sturgeon signalled her plans to hold a second referendum in 2023 earlier this month in a speech at Bute House.

Her goverment published the first in a series of papers outlining why the SNP believes Scotland should become independent.

‘Scotland deserves better’

During her speech, the first minister insisted Scotland “deserves better” and warned the country had “paid a price” for not being independent.

But she admitted: “Independence won’t always be easy. It isn’t for any country.”

Boris Johnson said he would study the Scottish Government’s bill “carefully”, but said independence should not be a priority right now.

He said: “The focus of the country should be on building a stronger economy, that’s what we’re doing with our plan for a stronger economy and I certainly think that we’ll be able to have a stronger economy and a stronger country together.”

Latest IndyRef twist

Ms Sturgeon has been in pursuit of a referendum since the UK voted in favour of Brexit, but she has come up short on several occasions.

In 2016, the first minister claimed a second vote was “highly likely”.

Her demands for a second vote on independence were brushed off by prime minister Theresa May.

The SNP leader again tried to push for a referendum after her party’s Westminster election success in December 2019.

But plans for a vote were temporarily shelved to focus on the Covid pandemic instead.


Already a subscriber? Sign in





Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google



Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it