A second Scottish independence referendum will be held in October next year, the Scottish Government’s Constitution Secretary has said.  

SNP MSP Angus Robertson said that a 16-month timescale was “realistic” and that the vote would allow the people of Scotland to “vote on independence.” 

Two years passed between granting of a Section 30 order which allowed the 2014 referendum to take place, but Mr Robertson said that less time would be nneeded to bring a vote to the people this time around.  

He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme:  “Not every election and not every referendum is an exact copy of those that went before. 

“Democracy is not a one-off. One ise able to vote repeatedly in referendums and repeatedly in elections. That’s the normality in democracy.” 

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon  and Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie released the first in a series of papers which will form the Scottish Government’s updated prospectus for independence, which is planned to take place next year. 

HeraldScotland:

Angus Robertson

Addressing the proposed date for Indyref2 this morning, Mr Robertson said: “The First Minister made clear yesterday that she intends to make an announcement to the Scottish Parliament in the forthcoming weeks about a route map towards a referendum which we intend to hold next October. 

"I am fully content that with the prospectus beginning to be rolled out, with the announcement that will follow on the route map on how that is going to be achieved, that we have a perfectly adequate window of opportunity both for legislation to be passed, for the opportunity for the people to scrutinise the prospectus that the Scottish Government will publish.” 

However, Mr Robertson said he would not give a ‘sneak preview’ of what this referendum would involve after the presiding officer chastised the MSP for the Scottish Government giving details on an independence statement to the media first before parliament. 

Speaking earlier on Good Morning Scotland, Craig Hoy conservative MSP said it was “deeply worrying” a “plan B” without a section 30 order could lead to “illegal referendum”. 

Mr Robertson said he saw "no reason” for the UK Government to deny a section 30 order, allowing for Holyrood to call for a referendum. 

The constitution secretary said: “Scottish politics has a long history of the UK Government going, ‘no, no, no, yes’. That’s what happened in the run up to the referendum in 2014 and I still think we should work on the basis of the gold standard of democracy which is that surely all of us involved in politics agree that when the people vote for something to happen in this country, it’s what should happen.” 

HeraldScotland:

Ms Sturgeon, yesterday

Mr Robertson said, constitutionally, the UK Government should not block a vote on independence in Autumn 2023. 

Yesterday, Constervative Commons Leader Mark Spencer told MPs a time gap of nearer 25 years is required before the matter should be considered again following the first vote in 2014, meaning a vote could not take place befor 2039.  

But this was dismissed by Mr Robertson, who said: “To actually reflect on what that means is [it’s] somebody not elected in Scotland, representing a government that has not been returned in Scotland since 1955, telling the people of Scotland what they can and cannot do. 

“We’re in the territory of democracy denial when I hear things like that.” 

He added: “The losing parties in an election lecturing the party and the Government which did win the election.”