Nicola Sturgeon has said she is confident a second Scottish independence referendum can be held next October if approved by the High Court.
Scotland’s first minister has said plans are “ready to go” to legislate for another separatist vote in just 12 months.
But critics argue she is “fooling herself” with most Scots, including many SNP supporters, “resolutely opposed” to a vote on the issue next year.
Britain’s high court will hear arguments this week before deciding whether Holyrood has the power to hold another vote without the approval of the Liz Truss-led UK government.
In the 2014 referendum, approved by the British government, the Scots rejected independence by 55% to 45%.
However, the Scottish National Party argues that the Brexit vote two years later changed the political landscape.
mrs sturgeon has said that as voters backed pro-independence parties in elections for the Scottish Parliament last year, they had a mandate to introduce a bill to hold a referendum on October 19, 2023.
Asked during a BBC interview if she was confident that would happen, the Scottish leader said: “Yes, I am confident that will happen.”
“Let’s wait and see what the court says. I’m sure Scotland will become independent.”
Ms Sturgeon also said that a High Court defeat would mean the SNP would fight in the next UK-wide election, due in 2024, solely on a platform of whether Scotland should be independent, making it a actual referendum.
But she pointed out that this was a last resort.
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Mrs Sturgeon said: “That is not my preference.
“If the path through which it would be correct to consider and decide this issue, which is a lawful constitutional referendum, is blocked… then the choice is simple.
“We make our case to the people at an election or we give up on Scottish democracy and I want to make it very clear today that I will never, ever give up on Scottish democracy.”
His comments were echoed on Sky News by Scotland’s constitutional secretary, Angus Robertson, who told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The electorate voted for a pro-independence majority in the (Scottish) Parliament.
“Either we live in a democracy or we don’t.
“The people have voted to have the right to choose and in a democracy, the people should be able to choose.
“They can vote yes, they can vote no, but surely they should have the right to choose.”
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He added: “The fact that we have had to go to the Supreme Court, the fact that we have to invoke the possibility of using elections to show once again that people want to choose about the future of this country is not what we need. “. be be.
“I would rather the UK government just respect the Scottish electorate.
“Unfortunately the Conservatives and now unfortunately also the Labor Party are perfectly happy to scrap Scottish democracy and it’s not good enough.”
But Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said: “Nicola Sturgeon is fooling herself, and trying to fool the Scottish people, when she says there is an appetite for another divisive referendum on her time scale.
“The evidence from the polls is clear and consistent: the majority of Scots, including many SNP voters, are resolutely opposed to the Prime Minister’s selfish drive to vote next year.”