Nicola Sturgeon sets date for ‘urgent’ independence talks | UK | news

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have announced on March 19 that an emergency conference will be held to discuss how to hold a second independence referendum in Scotland, following an unfavorable decision on the legality of a referendum last month without the consent of Westminster. On Saturday afternoon, Ms Sturgeon said her party would host a “democracy conference” on Sunday 19 March at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. This extraordinary event will see the SNP make plans to defy the Supreme Court in a bid to leave the UK.

Ms Sturgeon has refused to back down on plans to hold a second independence referendum since the Supreme Court voted against her on November 23.

In a unanimous ruling, England’s highest authority ruled that Scotland did not have the sole authority to hold a referendum.

Ms Sturgeon sought to avoid a mandatory requirement to seek approval from Westminster to hold a second referendum.

Conservative governments under various prime ministers have refused to allow the SNP a second referendum, suggesting a negative 2014 is a once-in-a-generation referendum.

Following the verdict, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had asked the SNP’s national executive to convene a special conference to discuss and agree details of the proposed procedural referendum.

The referendum must be valid as it will be conducted without an Article 30 order to hold a referendum legally.

At the time, Ms Sturgeon said: “Now that the Supreme Court’s decision is known and the referendum in force is no longer hypothetical, it is necessary to agree the precise details of the proposal we want to put before the country.

“Given the scale of these results for the SNP, the process of achieving them requires the whole party to be fully and actively engaged.”

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He added: “Therefore, I call on our national executive to convene a special party conference in the new year to discuss and agree the details of the proposed ‘real referendum’.

“It’s no longer about whether or not Scotland becomes independent – although that decision is important – it’s now more fundamental.

“Now it’s about whether or not we even have the basic democratic right to choose our future.”

Meanwhile, he said the SNP would “launch and mobilize a major campaign in defense of Scottish democracy”.

As it stands, the current date for a second independence referendum is October 19, 2023, but that was set ahead of the Supreme Court ruling against the SNP.

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