Scottish parliament backs Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a second referendum

 
Mark Sands
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Holyrood To Debate Call For Second Referendum
Sturgeon announced her plans for a second independence referendum in mid-March. (Source: Getty)

Members of the Scottish parliament have lent their support to first minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a second independence referendum, one day before Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to begin Brexit.

MSPs voted 69 to 59 in favour of the plan.

The first minister's motion, which is non-binding, calls for Holyrood to be handed the power to schedule a referendum.

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Sturgeon is planning to push for a vote between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. However, May has already said that "now is not the time" for a new independence vote.

Speaking ahead of the vote earlier today, Sturgeon said she was willing to enter talks "in good faith and willingness to compromise".

However, she added that if the verdict was ignored by Westminster she would return after Holyrood's Easter recess "to set out the steps the Scottish government will take to progress the will of parliament."

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It comes after crunch talks in Glasgow earlier this week, which saw May and Sturgeon meet for the first time since the Scottish National Party leader revealed her plan in mid-March.

MSPs debated Sturgeon's plan for just over two days in the Holyrood parliament, with MSPs breaking off from discussing the plan last week in light of the attack on Westminster.

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