Plans for second Scottish independence referendum on hold

Nicola Sturgeon says they will seek to influence the Brexit talks

Plans for second Scottish independence referendum on hold

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during the second day of the 177th Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh | Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has put plans for a second independence referendum on hold.

"I am confirming today that having listened and reflected, the Scottish government will reset the plan I set out on March 13th.

"We will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independece referendum immediately.

"Instead we will, in good faith, redouble our efforts and put our shoulder to the wheel in seeking to influence the Brexit talks in a way that protects Scotland's interests", she told the Scottish parliament.

"The Conservative Government at Westminster are taking this country down a path that is potentially the most damaging thing that has happened to us for a generation or more," she said.

"We do not know the destination of that journey but what we do know is that if the Tories get their way, the outcome of this could be devastating for Scottish jobs, for trade, for living standards, for the opportunities for generations to come.

"I do not think it is right for Scotland to be left at the mercy of wherever the Tories want to take us regardless of how damaging that is to our present and to our future."

Theresa May (left) and Nicola Sturgeon (right) | File photo

Her Scottish National Party (SNP) lost 21 seats in the UK general election earlier this month.

In March, Ms Sturgeon urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to make a start on transferring the power to have a referendum.

She said time is tight if the process for holding it is to be squeezed into her preferred timetable of 18 months.

She had wanted to give Scots a second chance to vote on leaving the UK some time between the autumn of 2018 and the spring 2019.

It is a request that Mrs May denied, claiming "now is not the time".

Speaking today, Mrs May thinks the idea should be scrapped entirely.

"What I think Nicola Sturgeon should be saying today is that she's going to completely take off the table the question of IndyRef2 - a second independence referendum in Scotland.

"I think that was the clear message from the general election, and I think now is the time for the United Kingdom to be pulling together, not being driven apart".