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 on Wednesday, LBC’s Iain Dale said current polling suggests a Yes vote would be unlikely to be a “massive majority”.
He asked Ms 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.
Ms 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.”
Discussing energy prices, Ms 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.”
Mr Dale then asked: “Are you seriously saying that energy prices would be cheaper if Scotland was independent?”
Ms 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…”
Mr Dale then said the SNP had pledged five years ago to create a nationalised energy company which would sell power to customers at almost cost price. He asked: “What’s happened to that?”
Ms Sturgeon said the pandemic had impacted on that plan, adding: “We are absolutely still looking to make changes that will allow Scotland – much better than we do right now – to benefit from the vast renewable energy potential we’ve got.”
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.