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Scotland's plea for new vote deserves respect: Sturgeon

By PA Reporters

The Scottish Parliament's backing for a second independence referendum must be respected, Scotland's First Minister has said.

MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a ballot to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

Nicola Sturgeon said her mandate for another vote is now "beyond question", and warned it would be "democratically indefensible and utterly unsustainable" to attempt to stand in the way.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the UK Government would decline the request.

The First Minister confirmed she will make a formal approach for a section 30 order - the mechanism for the powers to hold a referendum - in the next few days, and will set out her next steps to Holyrood after Easter recess if she is rebuffed.

The minority Scottish Government won the vote thanks to support from the Scottish Greens.

The First Minister said: "It is now the will of Scotland's democratically-elected national Parliament that discussions should begin with the UK Government to enable an independence referendum to be held.

"Today's vote must now be respected.

"The mandate for a referendum is beyond question, and it would be democratically indefensible - and utterly unsustainable - to attempt to stand in the way of it."

Mr Mundell told BBC Scotland: "We're not entering into negotiations on whether there should be another independence referendum during the Brexit process.

"We don't have a crystal ball as to how long that process will take. We don't recognise, for example, 18 months as being a key point in the journey."

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