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Nicola Sturgeon says Yes vote will win by ‘comfortable margin’ in indyref2

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NICOLA Sturgeon has said she believes Scotland will vote Yes to independence by a “comfortable margin”, when asked about her plans for a second referendum.

The First Minister also discussed post-independence energy prices and trade with the rest of the UK as she was interviewed at an Edinburgh Fringe show.

The Scottish Government has referred its plans to hold a second referendum on independence to the Supreme Court, amid a dispute with the UK Government over the jurisdiction of the legislation.

During the Fringe show yesterday, LBC’s Iain Dale said current polling suggests a Yes vote would be unlikely to be a “massive majority”.

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He asked Sturgeon how she would react if a future prime minister said they would allow an independence vote but attached a 60% threshold for the constitutional change to take place.

Sturgeon responded: “The international norms about referendums is that it’s about majorities. That’s basically how a Scottish referendum should be conducted as well.

“What I’m about to say will be put to the test.

“When Scotland comes to make this choice again, I don’t think it will be narrow. I think Scotland will vote to be independent and I think it will do so by quite a comfortable margin.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court: UK argument to block independence referendum published in full

Discussing energy prices, Sturgeon said the No campaign had warned in 2014 that bills would go up in the event of a Yes vote.

She said: “We’re paying a massive price right now for not being independent.

“Independence is not a guarantee of sunny uplands for Scotland, but it puts control of our future and the decisions that shape our future into our own hands.”

Dale then asked: “Are you seriously saying that energy prices would be cheaper if Scotland was independent?”

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Sturgeon replied: “That’s not the point I’m making, that’s not the argument I was making.

“We could go into a debate about Scotland, the renewable energy capital of Europe…”

The First Minister was also asked about her Government’s plans for how trade would operate across the Border with the rest of the UK following independence.

She said: “My argument, incidentally, is not that these practical issues won’t exist, it is that we will be able to deal with them with proper planning.

“If we do the proper planning, we will be able to deal with these issues in a way that doesn’t impede trade.”

She pointed to the border between Norway and Sweden as an example of how such arrangements could be managed.

The First Minister also said she will make a “judgment” on whether to lead the SNP into the next Holyrood election closer to the time, but her “default position” is to do so.

Dale asked her if she was worried about staying in touch after eight years in power.

She said: “I think every person in a position like mine, particularly when you’ve been in a job like this for the length of time I have, you have to constantly be making sure that you are in touch.

“Now, I mentioned earlier on, that in eight years, I’ve fought eight elections as SNP leader.

“That’s a pretty good way of keeping yourself in touch and making sure you’re listening and hearing the messages of people.

“But you should never take that for granted.

“I like to think, in fact I know, that I’m surrounded by a family, that if I ever got myself out of touch or above myself, would very quickly drag me back into line.”

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READ MORE: Jeremy Kyle brands Nicola Sturgeon ‘that horrible woman up north’ during TalkTV show

Sturgeon continued: “The default position is that, of course, I will fight the next election.

“But I will make a judgment on that nearer the time, because this is a serious job and anybody in a job like this owes it to the public to make sure that they are certain they are the right person to do it, that they’ve got the energy to do it, that they’ve got the appetite, that they’re prepared to make the enormous commitment that a job like this involves, and to constantly be assessing and reassessing that.

“And I think that’s important, and I will try my best to do that.”

Earlier, Sturgeon said that when she speculates about things she might like to do in future, or tries to answer these questions “a bit more humanly”, this is portrayed as “oh, she’s going to stand down, or she’s already thinking about the future”.

She added: “Somehow, you don’t get the space. People want you to answer these questions more humanly, but the media often don’t give you space to do that.”

Sturgeon told the Fringe event that Liz Truss “looked a little bit as if she’d swallowed a wasp” after the First Minister told her she had been in Vogue twice.

Sturgeon said the Foreign Secretary asked her about how to get into the magazine when they briefly met last year.

Earlier in the Tory leadership race, Truss dismissed Sturgeon as an “attention seeker”.

Asked about Truss’s comments about her, Sturgeon said she initially thought “it was made up, it was a spoof.”

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The First Minister then said she had met Truss during an event at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow last year.

Sturgeon said she had recently been interviewed by Vogue magazine before their encounter.

She told the audience: “That was the main thing she wanted to talk to me about, she wanted to know how she could get into Vogue – and she calls me an attention-seeker “I said to her they came and asked me. I didn’t really mean to do this, but I said to her it hadn’t actually been my first time in Vogue, it had been my second time.

“It looked a little bit as if she’d swallowed a wasp. I’m sure she’ll be in Vogue before too long.”

Earlier, Sturgeon discussed her interactions with Boris Johnson.

Comparing him to his predecessor, she said: “I think perhaps uncharitably I described my conversations with Theresa May when she was prime minister, as being soul-destroying.

“I look back somewhat fondly now on that.”

Sturgeon said she and May “differed massively” in their political beliefs but the former prime minister “took the job seriously”.

In contrast, she said her interactions with Boris Johnson were “one long bluster”. She continued: “You know, he was the third prime minister I’ve dealt with as First Minister.

“It was literally like nothing I’ve ever dealt with before in terms of any senior politician. You know, I’m going to be blunt here, he was a disgrace to the office of prime minister.”

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