SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon today admitted she does not know what currency an independent Scotland would use, how its economy would function or how it would engage with the EU.
Speaking less than a week after calling for a second referendum on Scottish independence, Sturgeon conceded that her party was currently unable to provide answers to key questions.
The Scottish First Minister claimed the SNP was currently undertaking “very serious work” on what an independent Scotland would look like, and would present detailed plans by the time of the referendum.
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson claimed it was “astonishing” the SNP could not provide full details despite calling for another vote.
Prime Minister Theresa May has pushed back against Sturgeon’s demand for a national ballot before the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU is finalised, and today the SNP leader seemed to accept a referendum could be held after March 2019.
Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show, Sturgeon claimed an independent Scotland would initially use the pound as its currency as a “starting point”.
When pressed to elaborate, Sturgeon said: “A referendum at the earliest is going to be 18 months from now. I absolutely accept – well in advance of that – not just in currency, but on the economic plan, on some of the questions you’re asking me on Europe we will set out a very clear proposition, but I think it’s right, given the changed circumstances of Brexit, that we do very serious work before we come to putting that proposition forward.
“That work hasn’t concluded yet.”
Sturgeon did say she hoped Scotland would be a full member of the EU, despite claiming there was “serious work” to do before making that a reality.
The case for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum was dogged by claims the SNP could not provide answers on what currency Scotland could use if it voted to leave the UK.
Appearing on ITV’s Peston on Sunday show later in the same hour, Sturgeon rowed back from her position that Scots should vote on independence before the UK officially leaves the UK.
After saying she was “happy to have that discussion” regarding the timing of a ballot, Sturgeon said: “I think we should have that choice before Scotland is taken out of the EU and a long period of time elapses, making it much harder for Scotland to try to negotiate a different relationship with Europe.”
While Sturgeon was making the case for an independent Scotland, her Conservative and Labour equivalents took to the airwaves to talk down a second referendum.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Scottish Tory leader Davidson hit out at Sturgeon and also the London-centric media’s reporting of her country’s politics, insisting: “The SNP is not Scotland”
Labour’s Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale said another referendum would be “divisive” for Scotland.