The First Minister has stated that she will still hold a referendum on Scottish Independence, also known as Scexit. However, she appears to be postponing publicly committing to that position ahead of the crucial location elections on May 5. Her insistence that she will hold the referendum comes despite Boris Johnson refusing to transfer the legal powers necessary to hold the vote.
In January Ms Sturgeon promised a new timetable for the vote in the “coming weeks”.
The First Minister’s junior minister Patrick Harvie has also said a referendum bill would be introduced at Holyrood “before too long”.
The Herald reported that a source had told them the Bill will not be brought forward before voters go to the polls in the May 5 local elections.
Other politicians have commented that Ms Sturgeon is “not fooling anybody” and will use the local elections to promote an independence bid.
It was revealed last Thursday that more civil servants have been drafted to help draw a blueprint to break up Britain.
In her programme for Government in September 2020, the First Minister ordered officials to work on a “detailed prospectus” on a UK split.
However, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson admitted that three more aids had been brought in, bringing the total to 14.
However, the Supreme Court would be unlikely to look favourably on an independence referendum being held without the permission of the UK Government.
Experts reckon the court would rule that such a vote would be beyond the Scottish Parliament’s powers.
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Scottish Labour MSP Sarah Boyack added: “The SNP are failing to deliver the public services people rely on and they’ve left our local councils starved of investment. Instead, they are focusing again on their divisive referendum.
“They are wasting vital time, energy and resources on their referendum bill.
“Surely now is the time to come together to focus on tackling the cost of living crisis and rebuilding from the pandemic.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “As outlined in the Programme for Government, the Scottish Government will work to ensure that a legitimate and constitutional referendum can be held within this Parliament, and if the Covid crisis is over, within the first half of this Parliament.”