Sturgeon prepared to ‘compromise’ on indyref as FM plans to sit down with next PM

Nicola Sturgeon receives another Indyref2 blow from Labour

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The First Minister said she would be open to sitting down with the successor to Boris Johnson. She argued the “principle” of independence will remain the same but that there could be some scope for “compromise”.

The Conservative Party is currently working to elect a new leader – the victor will also become the next Prime Minister of the UK.

Mr Johnson earlier this year urged the SNP to “respect” the result of the 2014 independence referendum.

It is unlikely that any of the Tory leadership candidates will pursue a different approach on this question.

But Ms Sturgeon has stressed she would be happy to discuss the route towards a second vote with the next PM.

She, quoted in the Herald, said: “In principle, yes – in terms of the detail, I will be open to a negotiation.

“And in any negotiation, you have to be prepared to compromise.

“What I will not compromise on is the principle.”

The Holyrood leader added that she was not willing to “continue to beat my head off a wall” in asking Whitehall for a referendum to be held.

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Ms Sturgeon said: “It’s still the best option to have two Governments opposed on the substance coming together to agree the process.

“If the new Prime Minister is open to that, I will be open to sitting down and in a spirit of compromise, seeking to come to an agreement.”

The Scottish First Minister is determined a vote will be held on October 19 next year.

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Laying out her plans for a second referendum late last month, she berated UK ministers for having “created the worst cost of living crisis in the G7 and saddled us with the second lowest growth in the G20”.

It was “not enough”, she added, to simply mitigate these issues.

In a policy paper released today – the second in a new series on Scottish independence – Ms Sturgeon argued that “in an independent Scotland we can forge a better relationship – an equal partnership – with the rest of the UK, instead of the UK Government being able to assert ‘Westminster sovereignty’ regardless of the views of the Scottish Parliament or the people of Scotland”.

The paper itself referred to SNP discontent over Brexit, arguing the EU referendum has “surfaced the contradictions in the devolved settlement”.

It added: “Much has been achieved by Scotland with the limited powers of devolution. But in recent years, the vulnerability of those powers and increasing encroachments into devolved responsibilities by Westminster have been obvious…

“In the Scottish Government’s view, it is clear that the current UK constitutional system will not – and cannot – be reformed to provide guaranteed safeguards for devolved institutions and self-government in Scotland.”

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