Scottish National Party

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Murdo Fraser
I was sitting alongside Joanna Cherry as she claimed on the BBC that the nurse was the wife of a Tory councillor. She was being urged to say so by the Scottish Government's welfare minister Jeanne Freeman. It was a disgraceful episode and Nicola Sturgeon and her party should be thoroughly ashamed. This smear operation points to something endemic within the SNP. Its supporters talk over critics, not listen. And the nationalists will always try to play the man not the ball. This kind of behaviour is utterly unacceptable.feedback
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May 22 2017
Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Theresa May and James Kelly, are the people who have been quoted the greatest number of times about Scottish National Party. You can find them on this page and an additional total of 63 people who have something to say about this topic. All the 248 quotes on this page are sorted by date and by name. You can also have access to the articles to get the context of the quotes. The most recent quote from Nicola Sturgeon is: “She made a mistake, an honest mistake, and she apologised for that. In terms of the wider social media reaction, I don't think it's acceptable to make judgements about somebody's background. The nurse on the debate last night was absolutely entitled to raise the issue that she did and, as I said, she raised an issue that I think is one of the biggest in this campaign, the level and value of real wages, not just in the public sector but in the private sector.”.
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Nicola Sturgeon

S no getting away. Every poll that's published in Scotland shows that the SNP is on course to win this election and win it comprehensively. The Tories are doing better, there's no getting away from that. They're doing better largely at the expense of Labour. What we've seen over the past few years in Scotland is a collapse in the Labour vote - much of it has turned to the SNP - we're now seeing Labour lose a lot of its remaining support to the Conservatives.feedback

James Kelly

Ruth Davidson wants people to believe that she's a different kind of Tory, but the reality is that the Scottish Tories are the party of the 'rape clause' and a hard Brexit. The Tories' reckless Brexit gamble has given the Nationalists the excuse they have been looking for to try to force another divisive independence referendum.feedback

James Kelly

Rather than break down the barriers that hold the poorest in our country from getting a fair chance in life, the SNP government has simply broken promise after promise. Whether it was scrapping the council tax, cutting classroom sizes or abolishing student debt the SNP's promises have not been worth the paper their manifestos have been printed on. The biggest SNP broken promise of all is that an independence referendum would a once in a lifetime event. Instead Nicola Sturgeon is gearing up to divide Scotland once again.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Over the past 10 years we have worked every day to make Scotland a better country. And we have made real progress to be proud of. The SNP has only reached the milestone of 10 years in government because we have worked hard - each and every day - to repay the trust of the people of Scotland and deliver on their priorities. I know we are not perfect. We haven't got everything right and there is much more work still to do. Work to grow our economy, get more people into employment and drive up standards in our schools even further.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I know we're not perfect, we haven't got everything right, and there is so much more work still to do. Work to grow our economy, get more people into employment and drive up standards in our schools even further. But we can be proud in Scotland that when it comes to progressive policies, we are leading the UK. Scotland has come a long way over the last ten years – but the next few years will be hugely important in determining the kind of country we become.feedback

Stephen Gethins

Clearly, the 2013 advice was written long before Brexit and made clear that full EU membership was the best option for Scotland – that is still our position, and it is only fair that Scotland has a choice on its future once the terms of leaving the EU are clear. But with the prospect of a hard Brexit looming, the immediate priority should be our continued place in the single market, and the protection it affords in terms of jobs and investment.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

For me, this is a question of, at the end of the Brexit process, does Scotland get a choice about our future. At the end of the Brexit process, I believe people in Scotland should have a choice over our future.feedback

Murdo Fraser

The SNP knows its chaotic approach on issues like currency helped Scots reach the conclusion we are better off part of the UK. Yet still Nicola Sturgeon doesn't seem to have any coherent position on this. To simply say a separate Scotland would blithely use the pound until something better came along is flimsy, insincere and further damages the SNP's reputation on the economy.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

So I was simply saying that there may be the prospect of a phased return for Scotland to the EU where we would be in Efta, the EEA, on an interim basis. We have argued and continue to argue either for it to be scrapped or for fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

What I am saying in this election is that we have an opportunity, by how we vote, to give those proposals democratic legitimacy. And, by voting for the SNP, to give me the ability to strengthen Scotland's hands in those [Brexit] negotiations, get a seat at the negotiating table and argue for Scotland's place in the single market. Because we as the Scottish government, the SNP, are not in charge of the Brexit process right now we don't know exactly what that is going to be like, how that is going to unfold.feedback

Jackson Carlaw

She says she wants to decide how Brexit is designed for the whole of the UK - even though SNP Ministers want that deal to fail. At the same time, she also wants to impose an independence referendum campaign on Scotland to try and split the UK in two. It is a ridiculous position to take.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I've been very open that this is not good enough. They've made certain recommendations to us about how we improve the teaching of literacy and numeracy. Right now we've got a new national improvement framework, we have an attainment challenge, we have an attainment fund putting significant extra resources into education. But we have had some advice that we need to have more of a focus in our curriculum on literacy and numeracy and that's exactly what we're doing right now, so we've introduced new benchmarks for the teaching of literacy and numeracy.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If Scotland is independent, our position always has been, as long as I've been in the SNP and continues to be, that we want Scotland to be a full member of the European Union. We don't want to go into the Euro and no member of the EU can be forced into the Euro and Sweden is one of the examples of that. Now we have to set out, if we're in an independence referendum - and we're not in that right now - the process for regaining or retaining, depending on where we are in the Brexit process, EU membership. Now it may be that we have a phased approach to that by necessity.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I've been very open that this is not good enough. We have had some advice that we need to have more of a focus in our curriculum on literacy and numeracy and that's exactly what we're doing right now. On literacy and numeracy we have a particular challenge, but on many other measures of Scottish education that is just not true.feedback

Jackson Carlaw

Now, in a cynical attempt to win back Leave voters who have deserted the SNP, she now refuses to say whether an independent Scotland would go back in. And her flirtation with Efta would leave us with all the obligations but no voice in decision-making. Nobody is going to be fooled by these political games. Everybody knows the only principle the SNP has is not to get the best deal on Brexit, but how to use Brexit to bolster their case for separation.feedback

James Kelly

Given the previous scandal surrounding Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson, it is clear that there are serious problems with the SNP's candidate vetting process.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Any investigation by The Law Society is so serious that, if confirmed, the SNP must immediately suspend Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. The voters in Ochil and South Perthshire need immediate answers. They cannot go to the polls without all the information being made available to them.feedback

Murdo Fraser

It would be utterly unacceptable for the SNP to try and brush this under the carpet. For once, they need to be straight with people. If an investigation has been launched, then the SNP should do exactly as they did with their former MP Michelle Thomson and suspend Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh immediately.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

This desperate attempt to win back voters who are deserting the SNP for its record of failure in office won't fool anyone. In 2015 Nicola Sturgeon supported a 50p top rate of income tax, then joined forces with the Tories to vote down such a proposal in the Scottish Parliament. She says one thing before an election in an attempt to sound Left-wing, but acts Right when she actually has to make decisions in government.feedback

Murdo Fraser

The SNP has already made Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK. This damaging move would take that to a new level. There is absolutely no reason why Scots should have to pay more tax than other workers across the UK. Increasing taxes will punish workers, harm the economy and raise less money, and the SNP would be making a huge mistake if it adopted this policy.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Nicola Sturgeon's grubby spin operation has been found out - and the SNP's scaremongering has been exposed for the trash it is. The First Minister's hands are all over this - she took to social media to whip up unfounded claims about the UK Government's approach to our fishing industry. Scotland's fishing leaders have directly contradicted her to make it clear they are satisfied with the UK Government's approach. If Nicola Sturgeon has even a shred of decency, she will retract her absurd claims.feedback

Eilidh Whiteford

The cat is now out of the bag – while Ruth Davidson is heading to the North-east to pretend the Tories are the fishermen's friends, her Westminster bosses are plotting a gigantic sell-out.feedback

Karmenu Vella

It has to be underlined however that an opt out from an exclusive competence area as the Common Fisheries Policy goes beyond a mere adjustment to the Treaties that may be justified by the admission of a new Member State.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Nicola Sturgeon is treating Scotland's fishing communities with utter contempt. The SNP cannot have it both ways. Scotland's fishing communities will not be fooled by them. Fishermen see great opportunities after Brexit so the most important thing for their industry is to secure the best deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK when we leave the EU.feedback

Ruth Davidson

We go into this election with one seat. They go into with 54 – and most of them with large majorities. Even to challenge the Nationalists in some of these seats is going to take a Herculean effort. Make no mistake – we are the underdogs going into this campaign. But we also know this. The SNP is not Scotland. And people across this country don't take kindly to Nicola Sturgeon pretending the opposite is true.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It is interesting if you look at the Tory and Labour support, they are mirror images of each other. The Labour vote has collapsed and gone to the Tories. So it is not the SNP losing ground to the Tories, it's Labour. So, you know, I take nothing for granted going into this election, but I think the day after my party has won by a considerable margin more votes, more seats and more councils than any other party.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Yes, by their standards, the Tories did well – and I take nothing away from them – but they did well entirely at the expense of the Labour party. As we go into the general election, the people of Scotland have a clear choice. It is pretty clear that Theresa May, on the strength of support in England, is going to win the general election. So for people in Scotland, if they want strong voices standing up for Scotland's interests and holding the Tories to account in Westminster, that can only come from the SNP.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

We will not be a government that presides over food bank Britain or asks teachers to go on the school gates and collect funds to pay the teachers' wages.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If you compare north and south of the border, the Tories polled less in Scotland than Jeremy Corbyn did in England, and yet Jeremy Corbyn has been written off as a disaster. The day after my party has won by a considerable margin more votes, more seats and more councils than any other party and improved our position on the last council election, I think I'm reasonably entitled to feel quite optimistic as we go into the next contest.feedback

Paul Nuttall

It is very easy for [Theresa May] to talk the talk and act tough, but when she's asked to walk the walk, I think there's going to be problems.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The Tories put an independence referendum at the heart of their campaign. It was the only thing they spoke about. And yet they lost the election yesterday. It was the Tories who tried to make it a referendum on an independence referendum and they came quite a distant second. If there's a message at all on that issue, it's a message for the Conservatives.feedback

Paul Nuttall

It was expected. We dust ourselves down and go on. Ukip does have a great future. It just has to stay on the pitch, hold its ground and people will come back to us. She will buckle. She will start to barter things away. Fisheries will go, there will be movement on immigration, on freedom of movement – she will buckle on that. When people are angry and feel they did not get the Brexit they voted for, they will come back to us. Ukip could be bigger than it ever was before.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Only the Scottish Conservatives have the strength to fight back against the SNP. We will stand up for everyone who doesn't want a second referendum on independence.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

This is a fantastic election victory for the SNP, coming off our election victory last year and the one in the general election the year before that. It gives us a great launchpad for the general election in a few weeks' time.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

This is obviously a disappointing election for Labour, but thousands of people in communities across Scotland have placed their trust in us and we will continue to play a major role in local government.feedback

Thomas Kerr

When you stand as a candidate for the Conservatives in the east end of Glasgow you don't expect something like this to happen, but I think people recognised I'm a local voice and will stand up for local issues. They wanted to send a message to Nicola Sturgeon that they don't want a second referendum.feedback

Ross Thomson

This has been a damning 24 hours of silence from Nicola Sturgeon. She needs to come out of hiding and explain the actions of her government. On her watch, ministers have been announcing government funding and promoting government investment in communities where her party is campaigning in vital local and UK-wide elections.feedback

Ruth Davidson

It's a very pro-Union part of the country, and it was the most pro-Brexit area of Scotland. I also think for those people, the 50.1 per cent of people in Moray who voted Remain, similar to thousands of people across Scotland who voted Remain that are also pro-Union, they are really angry. I don't think anybody has cottoned on to how angry pro-UK Remainers are that Nicola Sturgeon, Angus Robertson and others have hijacked their Remain vote to be a proxy vote for independence. People are furious about it.feedback

Giles Kenningham

We had a clean-desk policy in case there were any moles from Ukip or Labour and we lived in constant fear of anyone being snapped drinking champagne or looking complacent. There was always a cry which came out of CCHQ every time we knew where Ed Miliband was speaking of 'activate the shoal of Salmonds'. The team would then send an 'army of activists' with Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon masks to goad the then-Labour leader.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

That stands in stark contrast to the Conservatives who are taking child tax credits and working tax credits away from many working families, making their lives harder. We know Theresa May wants a free hand to do whatever she wants. We've got to make sure that there's a check on the Tories, that there's strong opposition and strong voices for Scotland standing up for progressive policies like this one, and that in Scotland can only come from the SNP.feedback

Willie Rennie

Sadly while she has been focused on independence, Scotland's position in the international education rankings has plummeted and children have been waiting more than a year for mental health treatment.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The issue at the heart of this election is, whether you support independence or oppose independence, surely that decision should be taken by people in Scotland, by the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament, and not by a Tory government at Westminster. We're here at a nursery highlighting the SNP's policy to almost double state-funded childcare provision, helping young people get the best start in life and helping working families.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It's time for the Nationalists to focus on the job of governing, such as dealing with the crisis in our schools and tackling the problems in the NHS after a decade of SNP mismanagement.feedback

Willie Rennie

Despite her protestations that she wants to talk about other things, today's admission from the First Minister will surprise no one. Independence was her key issue at the last election, it was her key issue the day after the EU referendum vote last year and it is still her key issue today. For the First Minister it has never been about education, the health service or even Brexit; these are all just convenient vehicles.feedback

James Kelly

This is yet another poll that shows people in Scotland do not want another divisive referendum and they don't want to leave the UK. When people go to the polls for the council elections on May 4 and the General Election on June 8, they can vote Labour to elect a local champion; or they can vote SNP to elect a candidate who will only focus on another divisive referendum.feedback

Willie Rennie

Does the First Minister really think we are all buttoned up at the back? If they fail to win this election, they have no basis whatsoever to continue their opposition to this government's policy, endorsed by this parliament, of having an independence referendum.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

My opponents are ridiculous. They go from accusing me of talking about independence too much to accusing me of not talking about it enough. The issue at this election campaign is quite clear - how do we make sure we have strong voices arguing Scotland's corner at Westminster and also backing our Scottish Parliament.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Nicola Sturgeon is treating the electorate like fools. She thinks she can face both ways on fishing, the EU and independence, promising all things to all people. But Scotland's fishing communities can see straight through this approach, and won't forgive the SNP for trying to ignore the EU referendum and force them back into the hated CFP.feedback

Miles Briggs

This shows you exactly where Kezia Dugdale's priorities lie. For her to say Brexit – which was backed by more than a million Scots – would be as bad as the SNP's break-up plan is beyond belief.feedback

James Kelly

At every election, Nicola Sturgeon tries to pretend it isn't a vote about the SNP's plans for a divisive second independence referendum. But she can't stop Alex Salmond blundering in, and here he is admitting the SNP wants to use this election to pursue another referendum the country does not want or need. How can it be right that people should vote on June 8 without a clue what the First Minister plans to say on the single biggest issue facing Scotland come June 9?feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

When you cut through the tank-riding, bagpipe-playing bravado, Ruth Davidson is just another cruel member of a cruel party. The First Minister uses strong words like shameful. She has the power to act. If she chooses strong words but chooses not to act, then that would indeed be shameful.feedback

James Kelly

This is yet another poll that shows people in Scotland do not want another divisive independence referendum. It's time for the Nationalists to focus on the job of governing - like dealing with the crisis in our schools and tackling the problems in the NHS after a decade of SNP mismanagement. Voters can send a message to Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland is divided enough, we don't need any more division.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

People who want to make sure that Scotland has strong voices against the Conservatives in this election need to vote for the SNP because that's what this election above all else is about. The election won't decide whether or not Scotland becomes independent, we got a mandate for the referendum in the election last year. So this is about whether Scotland's voice is heard and Scotland's interests are protected. And there is a clear choice. A vote for the Tories is not some pain-free tactical vote.feedback

Miles Briggs

There is one cast-iron rule about the SNP – whenever it says something has got nothing to do with independence, it's a sure fire way of knowing it has everything to do with independence. Just like she did in the after-the-Brexit vote last year, Nicola Sturgeon wants to try to use this election to boost her flagging case for a referendum. Everybody knows that.feedback

David Mundell

If the SNP loses seats, loses votes and loses vote share, that's not an endorsement for her position on independence. That's what she will be judged by. What I would hope is that Nicola Sturgeon would take a step back and actually listen to the people of Scotland, remove the threat of a divisive referendum and throw her lot in with the Prime Minister to work to get the best possible deal on Brexit. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee.feedback

Drew Hendry

This election is about standing up for Scotland and providing a strong opposition to an arrogant Tory party which now thinks it can do anything it wants to Scotland and get away with it – and only the SNP can provide that opposition. There is only going to be one winner in this election in Scotland – the SNP or the Tories.feedback

Willie Rennie

Nicola Sturgeon has lost the plot. For months she has been having a tantrum – demanding that Scots have another independence referendum so we could stay in Europe…This is a party in disarray.feedback

Ruth Davidson

The First Minister risks turning herself into a laughing stock here. For the last few months, everyone in Scotland has seen her do nothing else but campaign for an unwanted second independence referendum. Yet now there's an election on, she suddenly tells people independence isn't the issue for her and orders her troops - don't mention the 'i' word. After the last few months of talking about nothing else, who does she think she's kidding?feedback

Tom Costley

It is interesting to speculate on why there appears to be this weakening in the 'Yes' vote, despite Scotland voting clearly in favour of remaining within the EU, which is the stated position of the SNP-led Scottish government. The forthcoming local authority elections in Scotland may well provide some pointers as to the extent to which the media criticism of the Scottish government's performance in areas such as health and education may be having an impact with voters.feedback

Tom Costley

One group of particular interest is those who voted Yes in the 2014 independence referendum and then voted Leave in the EU referendum - one in three (30 per cent) of this group do not want a referendum at all, possibly suggesting that leaving the EU was their primary goal and at the time Scottish independence seemed the best way to achieve this. It is a cautionary reminder that the positive feeling towards the EU expressed in the EU referendum doesn't necessarily translate into full support for independence for Scotland.feedback

Tom Costley

The changing economic outlook in Scotland, particularly in relation to the oil industry, may also have led to voters reassessing independence. Moreover, with (British Prime Minister) Theresa May calling a General Election for 8th June, there is the potential for election fatigue with the prospect of an extended referendum campaign too much for the Scottish electorate.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

And whatever else happens in this election we should not allow the Tory party to escape the accountability for any misdemeanours that may have led to them buying the last general election. The SNP opposes Trident, not just in principle, but at a time when our public services and the vulnerable in our society are under so much pressure, spending tens of billions of pounds on weapons of mass destruction is the wrong choice. Labour should have the guts to simply say that. It's what we're told Jeremy Corbyn believes so he should have the courage of his convictions and say it.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

If you want progressive policies that deliver social justice, fairness and equality then you should vote Labour, vote Labours MPs to elect a Labour government. Let me be clear – there will be no deals with the SNP or anybody else. Remember, this is not a referendum, it's a General Election, and only Labour can form another government and offer an alternative that will transform the lives of people all across Scotland and all across Britain. I'm loving every minute of it. We are absolutely up for this fight.feedback

Derek Mackay

The SNP will give Scotland a strong voice against austerity, blind pursuit of a rock-hard Brexit and a complete disregard for Scotland's interests. The more Tory MPs there are in Scotland, the heavier the price we will all pay, with pensioners now in the Tories' sights. The Tories think they can do what they want to Scotland and get away with it. We won't let them.feedback

Theresa May

Every vote that is cast for me and the Conservatives will strengthen my hand in the negotiations with the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of Europe. We've already seen the other parties lining up to prop up Corbyn, we've seen it from the Liberal Democrats, we've seen it from Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Brexit isn't just a process, it's an opportunity … to make sure this really is a country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few. But to do that we do need the certainty that this election will bring over the next five years.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I don't want to see the Tories in council chambers. I don't want to Tories with their hands on local services and my message is crystal clear: vote SNP.feedback

Ian Murray

This general election campaign has barely started and the SNP has already resorted to dirty tricks by wilfully misleading the public. Any vote for the Tories simply endorses their drive for a damaging hard Brexit.feedback

Angus Robertson

This is an extraordinary plea for a Tory election pact from Labour's last remaining MP in Scotland, whose priority in this election is saving his own job at the expense of the whole country. Ian Murray is utterly apathetic to the prospect of keeping the Tories out of Downing Street, having made it clear that he doesn't see Jeremy Corbyn as a legitimate candidate for Prime Minister while appealing for people to elect more Tory MPs in an effort to keep the SNP out.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

This is pretty tired stuff from the Tories. We only have to take one look at the polls to know that Jeremy Corbyn ain't going anywhere near number 10 Downing Street–on his own or with the help of anybody else. We know that the Prime Minister wants to silence opposition, so the question for Scotland is this: if people want a strong opposition to the Tories, if they want MPs who will stand up and be a voice for Scotland, then the only party to support at this election is this one, the SNP.feedback

Patrick McLoughlin

It's clear Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP [Scottish National Party] are now lining up to disrupt our Brexit negotiations in a coalition of chaos. This can only mean more uncertainty for Britain, more risk and a future that is less secure.feedback

Theresa May

I will be asking the British people for a mandate to complete Brexit and to make a success of it. What do we know that the leader of the Labour party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common. Corbyn, Farron and Sturgeon want to unite together to divide our country, and we will not let them do it. Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for those who want to stop me getting the job done. Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the European Union.feedback

Angus Robertson

If the Prime Minister is so confident of her hard-Brexit, pro-austerity, anti-immigration case why won't she debate opposition leaders? Most people in the country know that the Prime Minister wants an early general election because the Labour Party is in such an awful state. We look forward to the straight fight between the Tories and the SNP in Scotland, but can the Prime Minister tell people why she is running scared of a televised debate with Nicola Sturgeon?feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Make no mistake, if the [Scottish National Party] wins this election in Scotland, and the Tories don't, then Theresa May's attempt to block our mandate, to give the people of Scotland a choice, over their own future when the time is right, will crumble to dust.feedback

Theresa May

Now it is not the time for second Scottish independence referendum because it will weaken our hand in negotiations on Brexit. Strength and unity with the Conservatives, division and weakness with the Scottish nationalists.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If the SNP wins this election in Scotland and the Tories (Conservatives) don't, then Theresa May's attempt to block our mandate to give the people of Scotland a choice over their own future when the time is right will crumble to dust. (May's) motive is clear. She knows that as the terms of her hard Brexit become clearer, the deep misgivings that so many people already have will increase and grow. So she wants to act now to crush the parliamentary opposition that she faces.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I don't think you will find anybody in any part of the UK who thinks it is. I was simply stating the fact as I did in 2015 that I don't want to see a Tory Government so if there I was a Parliamentary artithmetic that lent itself to keeping the Tories out of Government I would want to see that happen. Are you asking me if I think that is likely? My answer is not, what I am looking at right now. So that means my objective in this election is not to worry about coalitions with anybody but making sure the SNP is in the strongest possible position to stand up and protect Scotland's interests.feedback

Theresa May

If the Parliamentary arithmetic lends itself to the SNP being part of a progressive alliance to keep the Tories out of Government then the SNP will seek to be part of that as we said in 2015. Now we are not sure that there are many people who think Labour will be in a position on their own or with anyone else to form a Government. There will be many people across England who will see that as a matter for regret. My job first and foremost is to stand up for Scotland. Only the SNP will stand between Scotland and an increasingly hardline and right wing Tory Government.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister. It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the (Conservative government's) narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.feedback

Theresa May

The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain's membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.feedback

Alison Thewliss

Tonight we gather to speak with one voice and send a clear message to this Tory Government: scrap the rape clause and two-child policy now. Ruth Davidson has become completely isolated and desperate in her attempts to defend the vile rape clause. It takes a special kind of twisted logic for the Tory leader in Scotland to call for the Scottish Parliament to protect families from the vindictive policies of the Tory Government in Westminster.feedback

Alison Thewliss

If Ruth Davidson wants the Scottish Government to mitigate yet more Tory cuts, will she also call on the Tory government to pass on Scotland's share of the pounds12 billion 'savings' they intend to make through those brutal welfare cuts. The fact is, this policy is unfair everywhere - and should be scrapped across the whole of the UK. Rather than back those calls, Ruth Davidson instead wants people in Scotland to pay an ever-increasing ransom to the Tories at Westminster to protect people on low incomes from ever-more disgraceful Tory policies.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Having written to Theresa May on the back of the Scottish Parliamentary vote, I've said some time after the Easter recess I will set out what I consider the next steps to be, but I will set that out to parliament. These are not the kinds of things I am thinking of. I was elected as First Minister just less than a year ago. I've got a responsibility to lead this country. But I also think it's right that Scotland doesn't have our future direction as a country imposed on us, but that we get to choose that.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

But I also think it's right that at the right time Scotland doesn't have our future direction as a country imposed on us, but that we get to choose that.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I'm absolutely clear that the position of Theresa May, I just don't think is politically sustainable. If the Scottish parliament is of the opinion, as it is because it has voted in this way, that Scotland should be given a choice, not now, but when the time is right, when there is clarity about Brexit and when obviously there is clarity also about independence, that we should have a choice about our future.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

So for me independence is not an end in itself – it's how we equip our country.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

When I was growing up Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and the policies she was implementing were doing real damage to the kind of communities I was growing up in. But very, very few people in Scotland voted for Margaret Thatcher. It just seemed to me wrong that this prime minister that Scotland didn't vote for was able to implement policies that were leading to high unemployment, devastating communities. Margaret Thatcher once famously said there was no thing about society – well, I do believe in society. I believe in a strong, cohesive society.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

My experience of trying to reach some compromise with her over the past few months has been an unproductive and frustrating one. Much of the thinking and much of the decision making is very closed, and it's very difficult to get into that in any meaningful way. If I told you that not just the Scottish government, but the Welsh government and Northern Ireland found out the date of the triggering of Article 50 from the BBC, it probably gives you an insight.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

We've sat at the table and we give our view. But the breakdown appears to be that it doesn't necessarily influence the position that the U.K. government is then taking.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If the same attitude is adopted by her government to other European countries as has been adopted to Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland, then I would fear that the Brexit process is not going to end well, because of that highhandedness and – dare I say it – arrogance about how the negotiation at this stage has been taken forward.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Regardless of what happens in the future, as an independent country or part of the UK, I want Scotland to play a part – a constructive part – in some of the issues we are discussing today.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Every day I hold this office, I will work to ensure that every woman, every wee girl across this country, gets a chance to do what I've done and follow their dream. My mission is not to break anything. I want Scotland to be independent not from any insular or separatist motivation, but because I believe that countries should govern themselves. I am here to talk about the work Scotland can do for peace and reconciliation.feedback

Liz Cameron

This news must now bring an urgent change in policy from the Scottish Government in particular. The Scottish Parliament has just introduced a Budget in which medium and large businesses pay a higher rate of business rates than they would in England and where Scottish higher-rate taxpayers pay more tax than they would anywhere else in the UK. It is time for the Scottish Government to abandon this high tax agenda before it is too late as these policies risk driving investment out of Scotland.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

We agree with the Prime Minister that now is not the time for a vote, but if the UK Government's intention is to try and indefinitely block a referendum that would be utterly undemocratic and unsustainable.feedback

Murdo Fraser

Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish Government must take responsibility for this mess. She has made Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK and created more instability and uncertainty with her threat of a second referendum. Now we see the real-life impact of her mismanagement. More than ever, Scotland needs a First Minister in charge who gets back to her desk, ends her obsession with a second referendum and focuses on her day job.feedback

Derek Mackay

Scotland's economy faces continued headwinds, such as the slowdown in the oil and gas sector and weak global demand. Despite these challenges, the foundations of our economy are strong with growth in 2016, unemployment falling and early signs that the situation is improving for North Sea operators. We have already seen significantly lower consumer confidence in Scotland since the vote last summer. Now we see that feeding through into our growth figures and all of this is before the UK actually leaves the EU.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Both of us want to apply our capacity for innovation to tackling what is arguably the biggest environmental, economic and moral issue facing the world.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Our modern identity will remain open, outward-looking and inclusive. And Scotland will of course continue to build partnerships around the world - including with governments, businesses and universities here in California and across the United States. If I ruled out a referendum, I would be deciding – completely unilaterally – that Scotland will follow the UK to a hard Brexit come-what-may, no matter how damaging to our economy and our society it turns out to be.feedback

Chris Deerin

Sturgeon "is both stuck and in charge. But the biggest hurdle the SNP has to climb now is financial.feedback

Ian Ramage

Right now there's too much uncertainty, not just about Scotland but about Brexit. Brexit to me is like going back in time, but nobody's certain about anything just now.feedback

Sonia Sodha

The left must learn that moral outrage will never win an argument. It took but a quick click, but even as I joined the collective expression of disgust on social media at last week’s Daily Mail “Legs-it” front page I felt a bit sheepish. Not because juxtaposing a headline that posed the question of who had better legs next to a photo of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t deeply sexist, but because it was a futile gesture, and I knew it.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

For a prime minister who on Wednesday proclaimed Brexit as an exercise in self-determination, , to now seek to block Scotland's own right to self-determination would be democratically indefensible. It is my firm view that the mandate of the Scottish parliament must be respected and progressed. The question is not if, but how. I hope that will be by constructive discussion between our governments. However, if that is not yet possible, I will set out to the Scottish parliament the steps I intend to take to ensure that progress is made towards a referendum.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

People across Scotland will be dismayed that Nicola Sturgeon is more focused on re-running the arguments of the past than doing her job of running our public services. Scotland doesn't need or want a second independence referendum. There is absolutely no evidence that another divisive referendum is the will of the people of Scotland.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The next two years are hugely important for Scotland because they will determine the kind of country we'll become. That's why I have today written to the UK Government to ensure that we can make that choice when the time is right to accept Brexit or instead become an independent country. I don't take for granted how people would vote when that choice comes but I hope we can all agree that the future of our country is our choice. The Prime Minister has indicated that she intends to ignore the will of the Scottish Parliament and seek to prevent people in Scotland having that choice.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I hope you will not do so. However, in anticipation of your refusal to enter into discussions at this stage, it is important for me to be clear about my position. It is my firm view that the mandate of the Scottish Parliament must be respected and progressed. The question is not if, but how. I hope that will be by constructive discussion between our Governments. However, if that is not yet possible, I will set out to the Scottish Parliament the steps I intend to take to ensure that progress is made towards a referendum.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Now the prime minister has indicated that she intends to ignore the will of the Scottish parliament and seek to prevent the people of Scotland having that choice; if the Westminster government continues to hold line it will go against the very foundations of devolution. So I hope that the prime minister changes her mind and acknowledges that the people of Scotland are entitled to a choice at a time and in a way that is right for Scotland.feedback

Martin Kettle

One needs a deal she can sell in Scotland; the other is being dragged towards a new referendum. For both, the odds of success are slim. In the pivotal scene of Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, the heroine Tatyana writes a disastrously counterproductive love letter to the aloof hero. Mistaking Onegin’s reserve for nobility of character, Tatyana throws herself upon him. The scene that follows is one of the most touching in all of European opera.feedback

Adam Tomkins

The SNP is complaining about the return of substantial new powers which – under its plans – would remain in Brussels. If ever people needed to see their utter hypocrisy, this is it. As the Prime Minister has made crystal clear, the UK Government expects substantial new powers to be delivered to our devolved parliaments as a result of Brexit. At the same time, it is sensible to ensure that UK frameworks are applied so that, as those powers come back, nothing is done that fragments our own United Kingdom.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Now, under the current terms of the Scotland Act, those powers should automatically come to this chamber but nobody in the UK Government, and I discussed this with the Prime Minister on Monday, nobody on the Conservative benches will give that guarantee, which leads me to suspect that what the Tories are actually planning is a power grab on this parliament, and that will be absolutely unacceptable. I think it's really important that everybody across this chamber stands up for the rights of this Parliament before we go any further in this process.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Closer to home, the triggering of article 50 is also politically and constitutionally reckless. The full effects on Northern Ireland, which currently faces the possible reintroduction of direct rule, remain to be seen. Similarly, there has been no serious attempt to engage with compromise proposals that would keep Scotland - which voted decisively to remain in Europe - inside the single market.feedback

David Davis

This means that on immigration in particular voters in Scotland seem to be more in tune with the stance taken by the UK government than that adopted by the Scottish Government. Indeed, it seems that even amongst those who voted Yes to independence in September 2014 there is a limited appetite for having a more liberal regime on EU migration in Scotland than there is in England and Wales.feedback

Angus Robertson

The Prime Minister promised an agreement, today it is clear that there is no agreement. The Prime Minister has broken her word. The Prime Minister thinks that Brexit will bring unity to the United Kingdom. It will not. On this issue it is not a United Kingdom and the Prime Minster needs to respect the different nations of the UK. If the Prime Minister does not, if she remains intransigent and if she denies Scotland a choice on our future she will make Scottish independence inevitable.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Brexit – especially the hard Brexit shaped by May's inability to shake off the agenda of the Ukip-tinged right wing of her own party – threatens to be an act of self-harm on a scale barely understood. The result is that we must now ensure that people in Scotland are given a choice between the hard Brexit deal now being negotiated, and independence.feedback

David Mundell

There are some responsibilities we will need to conduct on a UK-wide level and we need to look at which those are. There are some where we believe a shared responsibility is the best way forward. I'm looking forward to entering into constructive discussions with the Scottish government in that regard.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Today's vote must now be respected. If it does so, I will enter discussion in good faith and with a willingness to compromise. However if it chooses not to do so, I will return to the Parliament following the Easter recess to set out the steps the Scottish Government will take to progress the will of Parliament. This is, first and foremost, about giving the people of Scotland a choice on this country's future.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I hope the UK government will respect the will of this parliament. If it does so then I will enter into discussions in good faith with a willingness to compromise. However, if it chooses not to do so then I will return to the parliament following the Easter recess to set out the steps the Scottish government will take to progress the will of parliament. If a majority in the Scottish Parliament endorses [a new referendum], the Prime Minister should be clear about this.feedback

Nicholas Cross

They say this is about ensuring a place in Europe, but there's also been some reports that they are now discussing about European free trade area or European economic area rather than rejoining the EU. So I think even the SNP are uncertain about which way to go with regards to Europe.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

We should be working together to get that right deal for Scotland, that right deal for the UK, that's my job as prime minister and so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.feedback

Susanna Reid

There are more important things to worry about, one of them being whether Scotland remains parts of the UK when it comes to Brexit.feedback

Owen Jones

The paper’s leering front page featuring Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May is part of a wider attack on liberal values. We must be prepared to fight back. Perhaps the Daily Mail should be sued for damaging people’s health? Across the nation, millions have cringed so hard at its audaciously sexist front page that they’ve strained their face muscles, or given themselves a migraine from slamming their heads repeatedly against the nearest wall.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I think it makes it very difficult for the Prime Minister to maintain a rational opposition to a referendum in the timescale I have set out. I think she has got a perfectly rational opposition to a referendum now, which is why I am not proposing it. But I think based on the discussion today I would struggle to see what her rational opposition to it would be in the timescale we have been talking about. First of all, now is the point when we are triggering Article 50, we're starting negotiations for leaving the European Union.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

We're not going to sit there and hand over powers to this government to override parliament, override democracy and just set down a series of diktats on what's going to happen in the future. We'd be failing in our duty as democratically elected parliamentarians if we did that. I don't think the record of Henry VIII on promoting democracy, inclusion and participation was a very good one. He was all about essentially dictatorial powers to bypass what was then a very limited parliamentary power. We need total accountability at every stage of this whole Brexit negotiation.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Staying in the U.K. hasn't safeguarded Scotland's place in Europe, it has jeopardized it.feedback

Ruth Davidson

The SNP's plans last week weren't about trying to hold a fair legal and decisive referendum, what it is really about is a very well-rehearsed game, which is to put forward an unworkable proposal. To wait for Westminster politicans to point that out. Most people in Scotland are sick to death of the games, most people in Scotland don't want another referendum any time soon, just three years after the last one, and most people in Scotland see the plain common sense in our own position. That Brexit is going to be and major challenged for this country and none of us know how it will play out.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

To suggest that an emphatic election victory on the basis of a clear manifesto commitment and a parliamentary majority on an issue does not provide a mandate begs the question: what does? And it runs the real risk of undermining the democratic process. Nine months on, there is no indication at all that this parliament's voice has carried any weight at Westminster. Instead, the UK government is taking decisions entirely unilaterally which I, and many others, believe will deeply damage our economy, our society and our standing in the world.feedback

Patrick Harvie

It is absurd to suggest that we should not respond to and react to the fundamentally-changed circumstances we now find ourselves in. The situation is changed not only by the EU referendum result, but by everything the UK Government has done with it. The recklessness of holding that referendum to resolve their own internal squabbles, the utter lack of a plan ... and the disrespect shown to Scotland since then. As for the Conservative amendment, it seems bizarre to suggest that the Scottish Government must work together with the UK when it takes two to tango.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Five times in six months the will of the Scottish parliament has been clear and five times in six months this SNP government has chosen to ignore it. Will the SNP explain [to the public] why votes on crucial issues such as health and education funding and enterprise and energy should be wilfully ignored by the SNP government, but when it comes to independence and only when it comes to independence, Holyrood is sacrosanct?feedback

Kezia Dugdale

We have already heard from the first minister about the need to respect the will of this parliament. If only she respected the mandates given to government by this chamber before now. When this parliament votes for another referendum as it inevitably will, thanks to the perpetual crutch that the Greens provide, let's not pretend it reflects the will of the Scottish people, because it doesn't. The Scottish people don't want a divisive referendum.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Most people in Scotland are sick to death of the SNP's games. They don't want another referendum any time soon, just three years after the last one. It was about a well-rehearsed game to put forward unworkable proposals, wait for Westminster politicians to point that out, then rush to any nearby microphone – angry face attached – to trot out the same old tired complaints. This bulldozer approach is completely at odds with the way the 2014 referendum was held.feedback

Alex Neil

One of the things we have to watch is that we take the people with us when the time comes. To maximise our chances of winning a Yes vote in a referendum, we have to make sure people are with us on the need for the referendum itself.feedback

Willie Rennie

For the SNP their mandate for another referendum is based on the European Union. But now the SNP tell us they will not seek or guarantee membership of the European Union with their referendum. They are cynically courting the one in three independence supporters who backed Brexit. So they will use pro Europeans to get a referendum but sell them out to win independence. It is low politics for narrow gain.feedback

John Lamont

It is only a week since Nicola Sturgeon announced her plans for an unwanted divisive second referendum out of the blue with no prior notice to anyone. As usual with the SNP, it is a case of double standards.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

Nicola Sturgeon wakes up every single day thinking of ways to engineer another referendum because leaving the UK is the only thing that matters to her. It isn't improving education in Scotland; it isn't lifting children out of poverty; it isn't giving us a health service fit for the 21st century. It's independence - she is a nationalist and that will always come first. But the will of the Scottish people was very clearly expressed in 2014.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

There is no queue to join the European Union and we have several voices over recent time saying that if Scotland wanted to be in the EU then there would be a very open warm reception for that. I don't think that is reasonable because by that point Scotland has been taken out of the EU, two years have elapsed, presumably there is divergence opening up between the rules of the European Union, the single market and where the UK is going. I think it gets much hard for Scotland to take a different course.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

To stand in defiance of (Scottish parliamentary authorisation) would be for the prime minister to shatter beyond repair any notion of the UK as a respectful partnership of equals. Scotland's future will be in Scotland's hands. (May) has time to think again and I hope she does. If her concern is timing, then – within reason – I am happy to have that discussion. Scotland isn't full up. If you are as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster government is taking, come and join us.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The will of our parliament must and will prevail. Imagine what will happen if Scotland chooses to stay. We will become a magnet for talent and investment from all across the UK. So let me issue this open invitation today - Scotland isn't full up. If you are as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster Government is taking, come and join us. Come here to live, work, invest or study. Come to Scotland - and be part of building a modern, progressive, outward-looking, compassionate country. To stand in the way of a referendum would deny us that choice.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

To stand in defiance of it would be for the Prime Minister to shatter beyond repair any notion of the UK as a respectful partnership of equals. We know change is coming. The EU referendum has made sure of that. The only question is what kind of change. We will ask Parliament to agree that this choice should be exercised at a time when we know the terms of Brexit but before it is too late to take a different path. And we will ask Parliament's permission to seek the legal authority that will allow the people of Scotland to have that choice.feedback

Ruth Davidson

The SNP is not Scotland and they are acting against the majority wishes of the people of Scotland in putting forward their proposition on Monday. There are people right across Scotland, many, many thousands of them, that are so thankful for the prime minister to say let's take a pause on this. We have asked basic questions on things like currency, on things like a central bank, on things like whether we would even rejoin Europe as a full member, and Nicola Sturgeon seems unable to commit to that.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The Prime Minister's attitude should worry all of us hoping that negotiations with Europe will not be a disaster because – and let me put it bluntly – if she shows the same condescension and inflexibility, the same tin ear, to other EU countries as she has to Scotland then the Brexit process will hit the rocks. Scotland isn't full up. If you are as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster Government is take, come and join us.feedback

David Torrance

There is also something of the early '90s Glasgow university student politician about Sturgeon, still clinging to the notion that she's idealistic and unsullied by compromise, when in fact from the moment she was elected, and certainly from the moment she became a minister and later party leader, she started to shift. You can't be an idealist in government. You have to make necessary accommodations with the uncomfortable realities of modern politics.feedback

Kevin McKenna

The call for a second referendum has been triggered by the high-handed and disdainful attitude of the UK government. The uninitiated, on first encountering an SNP conference, might think that they were already stepping on to independent turf and that only the flourish of a civil servant’s pen was required to make it official. After two or three days of being held in the embrace of such boundless optimism you sometimes find yourself desperately seeking a dose of misery just to feel normal and Scottish once more; a Pink Floyd album perhaps, or a video of Great Scotland World Cup disasters.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

As we debate our future, let's do so openly and honestly. But let no one – for or against independence – ever seek to run down Scotland's strengths and our nation's great potential. What we must all do is strive to make our country even better.feedback

Angus Robertson

What we're seeing yet again is Gordon Brown being wheeled out when the union is in trouble. We are very, very far from that. I don't take this seriously at all.feedback

Gordon Brown

That is the consequence of independence now. That is a more extreme and hard-line position to exit the British single market as well as the United Kingdom.feedback

Gordon Brown

The patriotic way means that Scotland is not caught between a die-hard conservatism that denies the Scottish Parliament the powers it needs and a hard-line nationalism that throws away the resources we secure from being part of the union. Most of all, a new third option can unify our country and end the bitter and divisive yes-versus-no conflict that will continue to rip us apart. It is time to transcend the bitter division and extremism of an inflexible, die-hard conservatism at war with an intransigent and even more hardline nationalism.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It is an argument for independence really in a nutshell, that Westminster thinks it has got the right to block the democratically elected mandate of the Scottish government and the majority in the Scottish Parliament. You know history may look back on today and see it as the day the fate of the union was sealed.feedback

Ruth Davidson

And that is because there is no clear political or public consent for this to take place. The country – and our Parliament – is divided not over just the question of independence, but over whether we should even hold a referendum or not. At an absolute minimum... there should be agreement across political parties and from the public at large, that it is right and fair for such a referendum to proceed.feedback

Lesley Riddoch

With few economic downsides so far, many Scots hoped they could ignore the Brexit process. The battle over a second referendum will make that impossible. What’s a year or two between friends? Quite a lot, it seems – and even longer between sworn political enemies. Theresa May got her own back on the first minister of Scotland by refusing her request for a second independence referendum before Brexit negotiations are complete. That position sounds kinda reasonable – until you think it through.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

"The Scottish government is not proposing #scotref now... but when the terms of Brexit clear and before it is too late to choose an alternative path."feedback

Robert Peston - iTv

Right now we should be working together, not pulling apart. We should be working together to get that right deal for Scotland, that right deal for the UK, as I say that's my job as Prime Minister and so for that reason I say to the SNP: now is not the time.feedback

David Mundell

This argument isn't about mandates, it's about holding a referendum on established criteria which were set on in the Edinburgh Agreement. That established that a referendum must be legal, fair and decisive. The proposal brought forward is not fair, people will not be able to make an informed choice. Neither is there public or political support for such a referendum. Therefore we will not be entering into discussions or negotiations about a section 30 agreement and any request at this time will be declined.feedback

David Mundell

It would be impossible for people in the timescale suggested by Nicola Sturgeon to make a reasoned view and, therefore, have a legal, fair and decisive referendum as we did in 2014 on the basis of the facts as they would be aware of them at that point. If you are saying you want the referendum because of Brexit, then you have to know what the arrangement is that the UK has secured in relation to leaving the EU and how that has been delivered and, of course, you need to know what the SNP alternative to that proposal is.feedback

Theresa May

Right now we should be working together, not pulling apart. We should be working together to get that right deal for Scotland, that right deal for the UK. That's my job as prime minister and so for that reason I say to the SNP (Scottish National Party) now is not the time. To look at this issue at this time would be unfair because people wouldn't have the necessary information to make such a crucial decision.feedback

Iain Duncan Smith

Nicola Sturgeon has made a very big error of judgement and it's just beginning to dawn on her.feedback

Theresa May

History may look back on today and see it as the day the fate of the Union was sealed.feedback

Theresa May

The Union is more than just a constitutional artefact. It is a union between all of our citizens, whoever we are and wherever we're from. So our Plan for Britain will put strengthening and sustaining that Union at its heart. The coming negotiations with the EU will be vital for everyone in the United Kingdom. It is essential that we get the right deal, and that all of our efforts and energies as a country and focused on that outcome.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

This is not the Iron Lady – this is someone whose government is in chaos, chopping and changing all of the time.feedback

Ruth Davidson

We reject conclusively the timetable for a referendum set out by the Scottish government. For a key reason – because it is unfair to Scottish voters. We have just come through a referendum campaign when a key complaint among many people was that they did not have the necessary information to help them make an informed decision. If we were to keep to the first minister's timetable, this is exactly what would happen in Scotland, too. On the most important political decision a country can make, we would be voting blind.feedback

Alex Neil

There is a fundamental point of principle that the Scottish parliament should have the power to decide on its own when and if it wants a referendum. It has never been the case that you need every party to sign up to major constitutional change. That is absurd.feedback

Robert Peston - iTv

Will you sanction a second referendum? So when is the time? Never while you're Prime Minister? What if Nicola Sturgeon holds a referendum anyway, without your permission?feedback

Ruth Davidson

Is it not true, though, that independent forecasts suggest independence would put Scotland £11bn in the red? So I issue a direct challenge. If next Wednesday, the Scottish parliament votes for a second referendum, will the Tories respect the will of this parliament?feedback

Willie Rennie

It's an absurd gap in the SNP's argument. They are dragging us into another divisive referendum on independence because of leaving the EU, but refuse to say whether their plan would put Scotland back in the EU.feedback

Ruth Davidson

The SNP's plans to impose a referendum on independence in Scotland have unravelled within 24 hours. Nicola Sturgeon is demanding that people are forced to make another choice on their future in as little as 18 months. And yet faced with reasonable questions about what independence means, she and her ministers cannot answer.feedback

Anders Vistisen

Although there is a lot of sympathy for Scotland, the problem is the interests of having good relations with England massively outweighs helping Scotland.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

I am not turning my back on further discussions. If the UK leaves the EU without Scotland indicating beforehand – or at least within a short time after it – that we want a different relationship with Europe, we could face a lengthy period outside not just the EU but also the single market. That could make the task of negotiating a different future much more difficult.feedback

Ruth Davidson

These are surreal comments. How can he say the SNP is focussed on negotiations with the UK government when Nicola Sturgeon has just broken off those talks to unilaterally declare another divisive referendum on independence? Everyone knows where the SNP has invested all its attention since the EU referendum – in trying to break up Britain.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

And the vote must take place within a timeframe to allow an informed choice to be made – when the terms of Brexit are clear but before the UK leaves the European Union, or shortly afterwards. It should be up to the Scottish parliament to determine the referendum's timing, franchise and the question, which of course will be open to independent scrutiny and testing as it was last time. [There] should be no strings attached, no blocking mechanisms applied and no Downing Street diktat. Scotland's referendum must be made in Scotland.feedback

Ruth Davidson

The SNP is trying to have it both ways. It is demanding a referendum because of our decision to leave the European Union. But, in order to keep leave voters on board, it won't say whether Scotland would seek to get back in.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The SNP's long standing policy and commitment has been to membership of the European Union. Obviously we are in different circumstances now than we have been in the past, but that has been and remains our position. But on this issue, as on all of the many other issues that people will want to consider in advance of a choice, I've said very clearly that we will set out our proposition in advance of that choice so that it is an informed choice.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

There is an incredible warmth of feeling towards Scotland, an incredible support, and a feeling that should Scotland democratically choose to be an independent country, then that is something that the EU would accept and respect and these discussions will continue no doubt in the months to come. If I ruled out a referendum, I would be deciding – completely unilaterally – that Scotland will follow the UK to a hard Brexit come-what-may, no matter how damaging to our economy and our society it turns out to be.feedback

Theresa May

Next week I will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to agree with the UK government the details of a section 30 order - the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.feedback

Theresa May

If Scotland is to have a real choice - when the terms of Brexit are known, but before it is too late to choose our own course - then that choice must be offered between the autumn of next year, 2018, and the spring of 2019.feedback

Theresa May

It will be decided by the people of Scotland. It will be Scotland's choice.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The UK Government was clear in 2014 that an independence referendum should be, in their words, made in Scotland, by the people of Scotland' – that is a principle that should be respected today. Having Scotland's referendum - at a time when the terms of Brexit are known - will give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want. And it must be a choice for all of us.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Brexit has made change inevitable… the choice I believe Scotland should have should be what kind of change we want. U.K. membership of the single market was ruled out with no prior consultation with the Scottish government, or indeed with other devolved administrations – leaving us facing not just Brexit, but a hard Brexit.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

The timing of the Brexit negotiations are not within the control of the Scottish Government. However, we must plan on the basis of what we do know now and what we know is that on the timetable set out by the Prime Minister, the shape of the Brexit deal will become clear in the autumn of next year ahead of ratification votes by other EU countries. That is therefore the earliest point at which a referendum would be appropriate. Having sunk the ship with the Brexit vote, that would be puncturing Scotland's lifeboat as well and I don't think that would be acceptable.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland stands at a hugely important crossroads. On the eve of Article 50 being triggered, not only is there no U.K.-wide agreement on the way ahead – the U.K. government has not moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement. All of our efforts at compromise have been met with a brick wall of intransigence. I will continue to stand up for Scotland's interests during the process of Brexit negotiations.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If Scotland is to have a real choice - when the terms of Brexit are known but before it is too late to choose our own course - then that choice must be offered between the autumn of next year, 2018, and the spring of 2019. If the UK leaves the EU without Scotland indicating beforehand - or at least within a short time after it - that we want a different relationship with Europe, we could face a lengthy period not just outside the EU but also the single market. Yes I do. Absolutely, I believe that. LABOUR PARTY WON'T OPPOSE CALL FOR REFERENDUM IF SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WANTS ONE.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Not only is there no U.K.-wide agreement on the way ahead, but the U.K. government has not moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement. Our efforts at compromise have instead been met with a brick wall of intransigence.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was billed as a once-in-a-generation event. The result was decisive and there is no appetite for another referendum. Labour believes it would be wrong to hold another so soon and Scottish Labour will oppose it in the Scottish parliament. If, however, the Scottish parliament votes for one, Labour will not block that democratic decision at Westminster.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Since last June my focus has been on trying to find an agreement with the UK that would reconcile the UK-wide vote to leave the European Union with the Scottish vote to remain.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

Scotland is already divided enough. We do not want to be divided again, but that is exactly what another independence referendum would do.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Nicola Sturgeon has today chosen the path of further division and uncertainty. We will vote against any request for a section 30 next week.feedback

Tim Farron

The SNP are risking taking Scotland out of both the UK and out of the EU. Being outside both would be the worst of all worlds for Scotland.feedback

James Mitchell

It's not as certain as some imagine that she (Ms Sturgeon) would go, that would depend on how she handles defeat. I think she could get away with staying on in a way he (Mr Salmond) could not have.feedback

Theresa May

Ours is not a marriage of convenience, or a fair-weather friendship, but a true and enduring Union, tested in adversity and found to be true... We are four nations, but at heart we are one people. That solidarity is the essence of our United Kingdom and is the surest safeguard of its future. The devolution of powers across the United Kingdom must not mean we become a looser and weaker Union. We cannot allow our United Kingdom to drift apart. For too long the attitude in Whitehall has been to 'devolve and forget.feedback

David Davis

What I don't want to do is take a simple Bill which is designed to do nothing more than put the result of the referendum into law… please don't tie the Prime Minister's hands in the process of doing that for things which we expect to attain anyway.feedback

James Kelly

As Nicola Sturgeon continues to threaten a divisive second independence referendum, a former Cabinet Secretary has skewered her record in government. She should take these words to heart.feedback

Kenny MacAskill

That's proven inadequate for most mainstream European social democratic parties. The housing schemes cannot be taken for granted, as Labour found to its cost. Moreover, the criticism of Labour about a plethora of consultations and reviews, is in danger of being replicated. It is action not rhetoric that's needed in critical areas. It is not just about power per se, but power for a purpose. Hard choices need to be made and vested interests challenged.feedback

Kevin Pringle

At the start of the last referendum, independence support was in the low 30s. This time around – before any campaigning in favour and having soaked up a lot of attacks against – Yes starts at perhaps 50%, according to the latest poll. That must be a very attractive prospect for Nicola Sturgeon, believing that a campaign can push that support further.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

Kezia Dugdale is absolutely right to oppose a second referendum at Holyrood and to keep the pressure on Nicola Sturgeon to rule one out. However any hypothetical deal on a second referendum is highly premature as there would need to be lengthy negotiations around the timing and the question on the ballot paper, given the remain/leave precedent set in the EU referendum.feedback

Jeremy Corbyn

Next week Nicola Sturgeon must rule out a second referendum and get back to the bread and butter issues.feedback

Stewart Hosie

Common sense would tell you that ... if we are going to become independent, better to do so before we are dragged out of the EU.feedback

Kezia Dugdale

This is yet another attempt by Nicola Sturgeon to sow division and uncertainty, at a time when the country needs to pull together more than ever.feedback

Ruth Davidson

Nicola Sturgeon has just admitted what everybody already knew - that the SNP is hell bent on taking Scotland back to another divisive independence referendum and will use any excuse to do so. She knows that a referendum would inflict further damage on Scotland's economy. It is therefore deeply irresponsible for the First Minister of Scotland to cast this cloud of uncertainty over our future.feedback

Alex Bell

With neither prepared to back down over the possibility of a second Scottish referendum, it’s a high-stakes fight for both. Nicola Sturgeon observed today that, if there is another independence referendum for Scotland, it would be “common sense” to hold it in autumn 2018. Her comments stoke a constitutional fire.feedback

Jim Sillars

I cannot conceive of the yes movement winning in 2018 in the middle of [Brexit] negotiations. We would be subject to the cry from Westminster: 'Why don't you wait to see what the deal is?feedback

Murdo Fraser

Never mind bringing forward plans for a second referendum, the SNP needs to own up to the lies it told in the first. Andrew Wilson has admitted that even the SNP knew its claims about an oil 'boom' were rubbish. Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney should now come clean. It remains deeply worrying that the SNP used its position in power at the Scottish Government to bend the truth to its own ends.feedback

Murdo Fraser

The SNP knew their oil forecasts were based on fantasy figures but they tried to fool people anyway. Their oil con has now been exposed for the tissue of lies it was. Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney have gone into hiding over this scandal. They must now admit they were wrong, and spell out how they would fill Scotland's £15bn deficit in the event we voted for independence.feedback

James Kelly

Gordon Wilson has recognised that the SNP's separation dream would in fact be an economic nightmare, with us outside the UK and Europe.feedback

James Kelly

It is quite remarkable to hear a former SNP leader admit that EU membership for an independent Scotland is a fantasy.feedback

Gordon Wilson

The Scottish National party must exercise extreme care if, as it appears, it is caught in a political vortex and cannot avoid holding a second referendum on independence at the worst possible time. For many supporters, that is not the only problem. It is the seeming unpreparedness, almost as if the Party hierarchy is giving priority to the local government elections. When are we to be given the answers on the currency, budget and trade? Who is to lead the campaign and how is it to be financed?feedback

Theresa May

As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland. As I have made clear repeatedly, no decisions currently taken by the Scottish parliament will be removed from them. While the SNP propose that decision-making should remain in Brussels, we will use the opportunity of Brexit to ensure that more decisions are devolved back into the hands of the Scottish people.feedback

Theresa May

We must avoid any unintended consequences for the coherence and integrity of a devolved United Kingdom as a result of our leaving the EU. Ours is not a marriage of convenience, or a fair-weather friendship, but a true and enduring union, tested in adversity and found to be true. The essential common standards which underpin the operation of a single market were provided at the European level.feedback

David Mundell

I don't think another independence referendum is inevitable at all. I still hope that Nicola Sturgeon would take it off the table, end that uncertainty, work with the UK Government to get that best possible deal for Scotland. Of course there could be another independence referendum but there shouldn't be one.feedback

Angus Robertson

We will always work to improve our public services – but absurdly ill-informed comments like this do the Prime Minister no favours.feedback

Ruth Davidson

I would be confident of victory. By the end of the last campaign Yes had already crossed over to be in the lead in the polls and we won by 10 points. At the moment they are polling way below what they were doing then. I think the arguments are weaker and I think the people of Scotland are just as switched on as they were three years ago so I think there's every chance that we would win by a wider margin. Folk aren't daft – they can see through that.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

If an independence referendum does arise, it will not be down to bad faith on the part of the Scottish government, but to sheer intransigence on the part of the UK government. It is not too late for the UK government to change course, but time is running out.feedback

Ross Greer

We are working on a timescale now where Article 50 (which triggers Britain leaving the European Union) will be activated next month – that's the timescale when it will almost certainly become clear whether there's going to be a referendum or not. So that's the timescale we should be working on to get our campaign up and running.feedback

Nancy Smith

The worst thing I can think of is Nicola Sturgeon using this as an excuse. I want Scotland to remain part of the UK.feedback

Ruth Davidson

[The] Scottish National Party should have the good grace to accept that many of its own demands – including the protection of workers' rights, and the protection of rights for the EU citizens in Britain and cross-border cooperation on tackling crime – have been recognised by the UK government.feedback

Theresa May

I think it's wrong to look at this as just a binary issue, as to either you have control of immigration, or you have a good trade deal. I don't see it a as a binary issue. We will, outside the European Union, be able to have control of immigration, and be able to set our rules for people coming to the UK from member states of the European Union. But we also, as part of that Brexit deal, will be working to get the best possible deal in the trading relationship with the European Union.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

They (UK government) will be making a big mistake if they think that I am in any way bluffing because if it comes to the point, you know, two years after Scotland had been told in the independence referendum, Scotland don't leave the UK, lead the UK. Here we are, we voted to stay in the EU, we were told that voting 'No' (in the Scottish independence referendum) was the only way we could stay in the EU, and we now face being taken out of the EU. Now that creates a much more fundamental question for Scotland.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Don't disregard Scotland. I don't feel as if I know any more about her negotiating objectives today than I did six months ago, and probably what's more worrying than that, I'm not sure she knows more about her negotiating objectives than she did back then as well.feedback

Alvin Tan

Sterling has been under pressure because of these issues with the potential Scottish referendum, after (Sturgeon) set out red lines on Brexit scenarios and talked about continued access to the single market.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It is normal in any election for those on the losing side to feel disappointment, but today many in America and across the world will also feel a real sense of anxiety. I hope the president-elect will take the opportunity to reach out to those who felt marginalised by his campaign and make clear - in deeds as well as words - that he will be a President for everyone in modern, multicultural America.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

(The ruling) is hugely significant and underlines the chaos and confusion at the heart of the UK government.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

We will seek to make this plan a key element of the UK's Article 50 negotiation. It will require substantial additional powers for the Scottish parliament: all the powers in our areas of responsibility that currently lie with the EU - and significant new powers too.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

In our Programme for Government, I committed to publishing a draft referendum bill. I am determined that Scotland will have the ability to reconsider the question of independence - and to do so before the UK leaves the EU - if that is necessary to protect our country's interests. So I can confirm today that the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It's clear that beyond hard-line rhetoric the UK Government has no detailed plan. So the Scottish Government will set out a plan for Scotland. We will seek to make this plan a key element of the UK's Article 50 negotiation.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Since I have been here I've found enormous interest in the referendum result as you would expect and I've also had a sympathetic response to the position Scotland finds itself in, facing the prospect of being taken out of the European Union against out will.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

While I believe that independence is the best option for Scotland, it is not my starting point in these discussions. My starting point is to protect Scotland's interests and to protect our relationship with the EU.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Our early priority has been to ensure that there is a widespread awareness across Europe of Scotland's different choice in the referendum and of our aspiration to stay in the European Union.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland spoke clearly for remain and I'm determined Scotland's voice will be heard.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

It might not all happen immediately but this is going to be the most damaging experience for the UK since the end of the second World War and you know, I don't want Scotland to be subject to that damage. (...) Everybody knows I support independence, I'm not starting from a premise that says it's all about independence, it's all about protecting Scotland. But if to protect Scotland we need to consider independence then we absolutely must be in a position to do that.feedback

Nicola Sturgeon

To ensure that all options are open to us, this programme for government makes clear that we will consult on the draft referendum bill so it is ready for immediate introduction if we conclude that independence is the best or only way to protect Scotland's interests.feedback

Justin Urquhart Stewart

It only just serves to underline just how vapid and weak most of the other politicians are, because not only can people barely name them, but they're barely known for very much at all. Whether you agree or disagree with Ms Sturgeon, she has created an amazing change in politics, not just in Scotland, but throughout the entire United Kingdom.feedback

Tom Devine

In the 1950s, it was regarded as a lunatic fringe. So what happened, first of all, was the switch from ethnic nationalism to civic nationalism. That is, it didn't really matter where you were born as long as you supported the cause of independence. And then the other thing: it stole the clothes of old Labour. The modern Scottish National Party is actually more Labour than Labour.feedback

David Cameron

Frankly I look forward to having the debate because I think that there have been too many in the SNP (Scottish National Party) who are happy to talk about the process. They are happy to talk about the process, they don't want to talk about the substance.feedback

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