THE SNP has launched a new drive to encourage people in Scotland to register to vote ahead of plans to hold a second independence referendum next year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week unveiled her route map for the vote which wants to take place on 19 October 2023 with or without the agreement of the UK Government.

She has referred legislation to hold the vote to the Supreme Court to see whether it is within Holyrood's powers. If is it Indyref2 will go ahead as planned, if not she plans to use the next Westminster election to campaign on the issue of 'Should Scotland be an independent country?' She described this vote as a 'de facto' independence referendum.

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The Referendum Bill published last week outlines that the franchise will include qualifying foreign nationals.

SNP President Michael Russell said "Democracy is one of the guiding principles in the First Minister’s announcement this week, which marks the beginning of an invigorating time in Scottish politics.

“The importance of registering to vote ahead of the independence referendum cannot be overstated - this is the opportunity for Scots to have their voices heard and decide their constitutional future.

“Over the coming weeks and months, the SNP will detail our arguments and make the case for Scotland to get rid of Westminster control and Tory governments we haven’t voted for since the 1950s.

“The case for a referendum is now as much a Scottish democracy movement as a Scottish independence movement.

“And with the starting gun fired on the independence campaign, now is the time to prepare - and that starts with registering to vote in this historic democratic event.”