Nicola Sturgeon hints at second Brexit referendum


'We are polling at a higher level a year after the last Scottish election (as last time).

'It is not just Brexit but this incompetent, chaotic approach to Brexit being presided over by Theresa May.

And she said she was "not there yet" in supporting a UK-wide referendum on the final Brexit deal, although she said the case for one may become "more and more hard to resist".

"People watch the chaos that is engulfing the United Kingdom right now and people look ahead and see the damage that is likely to be done by this unfolding disaster that is not just Brexit but this incompetent and chaotic approach to Brexit being presided over by (Conservative Prime Minister) Theresa May", she told the BBC.

Mrs May will tell the UK Parliament that, while "progress will not always be smooth", the country can "prove the doomsayers wrong" over Brexit. It subsequently put the plan on hold.

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The First Minister of Scotland told ITV's Peston on Sunday that it was necessary to "let the dust settle" - but insisted that the case for Scotland being independent had "arguably never been greater" with Brexit looming.

The party's leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, told the Guardian that setting a target date for a second referendum was "putting the cart before the horse".

"This is the only way to absolutely guarantee the ongoing rights of European Union citizens and their family members, and British people living and working elsewhere in the European Union", it said. The paper says Ms Sturgeon announced the "dramatic" move ahead of the start of SNP conference today.

The Scottish National Party on Sunday promised to pay any post-Brexit charges for European Union citizens working in Scotland's public sector, if they are imposed under the British government's proposed registration scheme.

"And the case for Scotland taking control of our own future, having the decisions that shape our future in our own hands, in my view gets stronger by the day".

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The SNP leader will address her party's conference on Tuesday afternoon, with her finance secretary, Derek Mackay, due to speak on Monday.

This year's SNP conference opens in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon with a speech from deputy first minister John Swinney against a background of mounting political and financial problems for Sturgeon's government.

Sturgeon has voiced concern over the situation in Catalonia but the party she leads has sought to avoid being seen as supporting an independence bid that was ruled unconstitutional by Spain's government and courts.

But some party members are disgruntled and an SNP source said he expected an emergency motion on Catalonia, where some leaders are calling for a declaration of independence this week.

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