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Brexit: a whole lot of 1000’s anticipated to march for individuals’s vote – stay updates | Politics









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March to start in Park Lane at 12pm

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Speaking before her appearance at the rally, where she’ll share a platform with the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Conservative peer Michael Heseltine, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, described the state of political turmoil as “the moment of maximum opportunity”.

In a statement, Sturgeon says: “The EU’s decision to postpone things until at least April 12 has opened a window, and those of us who oppose Brexit must seize the chance it offers.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Photograph: Ken Jack/Getty Images

Urging the Commons to “take back control” from May and secure an even longer extension to allow time for a new referendum to be held, she adds: “The prime minister and her government have proved completely incapable of delivering on the result of the 2016 vote, which is why it is right that this should now go back to the people.”

She also insists the Brexit chaos makes the case for Scottish independence “stronger than it has ever been”. Sturgeon is still hedging her bets when it comes to announcing her own plans regarding a second independence referendum.

She told the Holyrood chamber at first minister’s question on Thursday that she would lay out her thinking “in the coming days”. Seasoned observers read this as a variation on “in the coming weeks” and “after the fog of Brexit clears”. These have been the Scottish National party leader’s other favoured formulations as she maintains a challenging balance between the agitation of many party activists and some parliamentarians who want her to act now and her own understanding of the country’s mood.

Polling continues to suggest that the public are not keen on a second independence referendum within five years, while Brexit has failed to push support for leaving the UK up to the convincing margin of around 60% that insiders believe is critical for a second poll to succeed.

Sturgeon’s presence at the rally is significant though. Her party swung behind a second Brexit referendum late last year, despite the fact that a significant minority of SNP voters supported leave in 2016. Many still hold reservations that a second EU referendum may set an unhelpful precedent for a second independence vote, but throughout the Brexit process Sturgeon has emphasised the SNP’s willingness to work across the parties to reach a workable consensus.

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