NICOLA Sturgeon is set to reveal her route map to a second Scottish independence referendum.
The First Minister will deliver an update to Parliament on Tuesday, having officially kicked off the campaign for indyref2 earlier this month.
Here’s everything you need to know about the landmark announcement.
What is being announced?
Earlier this month, the Government published a “scene-setting” paper – the first in a series that will make up a new prospectus for an independent Scotland ahead of a referendum.
The First Minister’s statement to Holyrood on Tuesday is the first follow-up to that announcement.
She will outline her plans to hold a second referendum on Scotland’s future in the UK.
When is Nicola Sturgeon’s independence announcement?
The First Minister will make a statement to MSPs in Holyrood shortly after 2pm.
The announcement is scheduled to follow Parliamentary Bureau Motions and any Topical Questions, if selected by the Presiding Officer.
How can I watch Nicola Sturgeon’s independence update?
The speech will be broadcast by Scottish Parliament TV.
When will a second independence referendum take place?
The Scottish Government made it clear last year it would seek to pass legislation for another referendum and would fight any legal challenge from the UK Government to strike it down.
The First Minister says she intends to hold the vote in October 2023, though there are significant barriers in the way, with the Westminster government unlikely to approve the plans.
A Section 30 order – a clause in the Scotland Act which would grant a legal referendum – was required for the 2014 ballot, but the UK Government has repeatedly rejected requests for one.
It has been reported that Sturgeon is considering holding a “consultative” referendum, as opposed to a legally binding one, in a bid to circumvent potential legal issues.
The SNP leader is expected to address such questions in her statement to parliament.
In a Bute House speech earlier this month, the First Minister acknowledged there were legal “challenges” stemming from her plans to hold a referendum in October next year.
“What would be unfair to independence supporters, in fact unfair to the country, would be for me to stand here and pretend that there’s not challenges to navigate through,” she said.
The FM added that her party had been given a “mandate”, along with the Scottish Greens, for another vote.
“I intend to honour that, that is what democracy demands but there are challenges to work through if we are to have what I think is essential to deliver independence – a lawful process,” she said. “And it would be less fair to people if I didn’t say that I’m taking all of that seriously and behaving responsibly.”
What is the UK Government saying?
Downing Street is refusing to countenance the prospect of a second vote.
A UK Government spokesman said: “Now is not the time to be talking about another referendum.
“People across Scotland rightly want and expect to see both of their governments working together with a relentless focus on the issues that matter to them, their families and communities.
“That means tackling the cost of living, protecting our long-term energy security, leading the international response against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing our economy so that everyone has access to the opportunities, skills and jobs for the future.”
What about the Scottish Greens?
The Scottish Greens, who are in government with the SNP, have underscored Scotland’s mandate for an independence referendum.
Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “Both the Scottish Green Party and the SNP committed, in our respective election manifestos, to holding a referendum in this parliamentary session. Our parties won more votes and more seats than the three unionist parties. The mandate to hold a referendum is crystal clear. The people will have their say.
“That mandate is fundamentally about democracy. The people of Scotland are sovereign, they alone get to decide how they are governed.
“It is my belief that with independence we will build a fairer and greener Scotland. A Scotland that rejects the hostile environment, rejects climate catastrophe, and embraces an outward looking approach to global affairs. I believe that when the people are given that choice next year, that’s what they will vote for.”