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Summary

  1. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces independence referendum will be between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019
  2. Ms Sturgeon says she will seek Scottish Parliament approval for a second independence referendum next week
  3. The franchise and question in the second independence referendum is for the Scottish Parliament to decide says the first minister

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us on yet another historic day in Scottish politics

    That's all from us on yet another historic day in Scottish Politics, on 13 March 2017.

    Today Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will ask for permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.

    Ms Sturgeon said she wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.

    Video content

    Video caption: Nicola Sturgeon to call indyref2 in autumn 2018 or spring 2019

    That would coincide with the expected conclusion of the UK's Brexit negotiations.

    The Scottish first minister said the move was needed to protect Scottish interests in the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU.

    She will ask the Scottish Parliament next Tuesday to request a Section 30 order from Westminster.

    Video content

    Video caption: PM: SNP 'tunnel vision' over independence 'deeply regrettable'

    Prime Minister Theresa May has so far avoided saying whether or not she would grant permission.

    Responding to Ms Sturgeon's announcement, Mrs May said a second independence referendum would set Scotland on course for "uncertainty and division" and insisted that the majority of people in Scotland did not want another vote on the issue.

    She added: "The tunnel vision that SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable.

    "Instead of playing politics with the future of our country, the Scottish government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people of Scotland. Politics is not a game."

  2. Rennie says SNP's policy risks leaving Scotland outside of the EU and outside of the UK

    
          Willie Rennie: "I am going to stand up for strong liberal values."
    Image caption: Willie Rennie: "I am going to stand up for strong liberal values."

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said Ms Sturgeon's SNP had been "working towards this announcement for months" and were "determined to contrive a way to ignore their promise that 2014 was 'once in a generation'."

    He added: "There is no wide public support for a new and divisive referendum. The big concern is that the SNP's policy risks leaving Scotland outside of the EU and outside of the UK."

  3. Alex Salmond dismisses claim that Nicola Sturgeon was "pushed"

    Former first minister Alex Salmond has rubbished a Sky News report that Nicola Sturgeon was "pushed into seeking a second Scottish independence referendum by Alex Salmond and others".

    View more on twitter
  4. 'Scotland's first minister has gone the whole hog' says Laura Kuenssberg

    Laura Kuenssberg

    BBC political editor

    Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May
    Image caption: Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May

    Before the Parliamentary drama over the first part of Brexit is even done, another dramatic twist in this most tangled of plots.

    Early this morning, Nicola Sturgeon announced she would be giving an "important speech" today in the grand surroundings of Bute House, her official residence.

    Among SNP sources, the chatter was that she would give an ultimatum to Theresa May that if she could not negotiate a differentiated Brexit deal for Scotland she would push for a second independence referendum.

    Forget that. Scotland's first minister has gone the whole hog, saying she will next week push the button on a second independence referendum by putting legislation to the Scottish Parliament.

    Read more here

  5. Carmichael: 'This is something that the people of Scotland do not want'

    Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland, said Nicola sturgeon had plunged Scotland into further uncertainty. 

    He told the BBC News channel: "All of us in whatever part of the UK we are in face an enormous amount of uncertainty as a result of the vote last June. This is one of the few things you could imagine that could make this worse. 

    "This is something that the people of Scotland do not want, they do not need and it should not be happening."

    Alistair Carmichael

    He added: "This is not about Brexit, this is about the obsession that the SNP have with getting Scotland out of the United Kingdom, breaking up the United Kingdom and frankly if it wasn't this, it would be something else. That's never going to change."  

  6. Kezia Dugdale in warning over 'turbo-charged austerity'

    Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale told the BBC News Channel that she was "angry and disappointed" by Nicola Sturgeon's announcement. 

    She warned that Scottish independence would lead to "turbo-charged austerity". 

    Kezia Dugdale

    She added: "What I can't help but conclude is that they [the SNP] are offering false hope to the poorest communities of this country and that's why, once again, it will come down to the Labour party to make the case for the alternative, to stand up for public services and to make that case for why we should remain part of the United Kingdom."   

  7. Scottish Conservative leader says Nicola Sturgeon has been 'utterly irresponsible'

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Nicola Sturgeon had been "utterly irresponsible" and had "given up acting as first minister for all of Scotland".

    Ms Davidson added: "People have said time and again they do not want to go back to the division of a second referendum.

    "Nicola Sturgeon promised the 2014 referendum would be 'once in a generation'.

    "Today she has ignored the majority in Scotland who do not want a referendum and has decided instead to double down on division and uncertainty."

  8. Summary: First minister to seek second independence referendum

    Video content

    Video caption: Nicola Sturgeon to call indyref2 in autumn 2018 or spring 2019

    Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will ask for permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence .

    Ms Sturgeon said she wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.

    The Scottish first minister said the move was needed to protect Scottish interests in the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU.

    She said she would ask the Scottish Parliament next week to request a Section 30 order from Westminster.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has so far avoided saying whether or not she would grant permission.

    Her official spokesman responded to Ms Sturgeon's announcement by saying that the evidence "clearly showed a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum".

  9. Salmond hails 'political leadership' of Nicola Sturgeon

    BBC News Channel

    Former first minister Alex Salmond was asked whether Nicola Sturgeon had been "backed into a corner" when opinion polls suggest Scotland would still vote to stay in the UK. 

    He told the BBC News Channel: "The last person backed into a corner today is Nicola Sturgeon. As the UK government fumbles for a response, they've had a demonstration of political leadership from Nicola Sturgeon."

    Alex Salmond

    He added: "I called the previous referendum in Scotland and I think the day I called it at the end of 2012, the opinion poll for 'yes' was 28%.

    "The average of the last three opinion polls in Scotland is 49%, so Nicola Sturgeon is starting from a base 20% better."

    He went on: "I notice Ladbrokes have just made a 'yes' vote for independence a favourite in their book. They may not be psephologists but they don't fling their money away. 

  10. Patrick Harvie confirms the Greens would vote in favour of seeking a Section 30 order

    Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie

    Ms Sturgeon will rely on the pro-independence Scottish Greens to give her plans majority support in the Scottish Parliament.

    Patrick Harvie, the party's co-convener, welcomed the announcement and confirmed the Greens would vote in favour of seeking a Section 30 order.

    He added: "Scotland's votes and our voice have been ignored by a Tory government at Westminster which we did not vote for and a feeble Labour opposition.

    "The people of Scotland deserve a choice between hard Brexit Britain and putting our own future in our own hands."

  11. Analysis: Sturgeon believes she has been backed into a corner

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    
          Pro-UK politicians say a second independence referendum cause further uncertainty and division
    Image caption: Pro-UK politicians say a second independence referendum wouldcause further uncertainty and division

    Nicola Sturgeon's view is that she has been backed into a corner.

    In part, she has almost backed herself into a corner by her rhetoric over the last few weeks and months.

    She has left herself very little room for manoeuvre unless Theresa May is going to offer her up this deal of Scotland remaining a part of the single market.

    At the same time, she has fuelled a level of expectation within her own party. Many within the SNP are pushing her to go for the second independence referendum.

    You could argue that maybe she cannot hold back any longer, and therefore has decided to seize the initiative, go out on the front foot, lay down the gauntlet to Theresa May and say "OK, I'm asking for the referendum, will you give it to me?"

  12. Ruth Davidson brands referendum announcement "deeply irresponsible"

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has condemned Nicola Sturgeon's call for a second referendum as an "irresponsible and damaging proposition". 

    Ms Davidson told Radio 4's The World at One that "there is no clear mandate for the Scottish government" to have the referendum, saying "the Scottish people do not want this".  

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    Video caption: Scottish Conservative Ruth Davidson calls referendum suggestion 'deeply irresponsible'