THE Scottish Greens welcomed the First Minister’s announcement on plans for a second independence referendum to be held within the next two years.

But other parties and some figures both in the Yes movement and – as would be expected – on the pro-Union side were critical.

The Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone said: “The Brexit shambles has confirmed our belief that we would be far better governing ourselves.”

She added: “Support for independence grew over the course of the last referendum in part due to the breadth of inspiring, positive visions of what our nation could be.”

READ MORE: Indyref2: First Minister sets out plans for vote before 2021

However, while broadly supportive, Johnstone highlighted differences between her party and the proposal for independence set out in the party’s Growth Commission published last year.

“The vision currently being considered by the SNP looks more like the failed economic model of the UK, a vision which has led to cuts to public services and increasing child poverty, than the bold vision for independence the Greens campaigned for and believed in,” she said.

She went on to say that the Citizens’ Assembly announced by Sturgeon should not be “a talking shop”, but that it should be listened to and shape government policy.

Scottish Socialist Party national spokesman Colin Fox, who was involved in the Yes Scotland campaign in 2014, was dismissive.

He said: “Despite the hype, today’s statement changes little in the fight to win a Yes vote particularly among the key constituency of Scotland’s working class majority.

“The First Minister continues to prevaricate over indyref2 and seems at a loss to make a more compelling case for independence than hitherto. That case is far more substantial than the democratic deficit again illustrated by the 2016 EU referendum result.

“Speaking as she was on the eve of an SNP conference, which may well approve the pro-austerity, big-business-friendly Growth Commission report, it looks more like a tool of party management than a step to winning independence.”

Fox’s view was echoed by the independence blogger Stuart Campbell. “The FM’s plan, if we might generously put it as strongly as that, appears to be to keep appealing to the UK Government’s sense of reason and decency (stop sniggering at the back) in the hope one more time will work where the last 200 attempts failed,” he wrote on his Wings Over Scotland website.

“If events should conspire in such a way the SNP can extract a second indyref as the price of supporting a Labour government ... there will be one no matter what stage the Citizens’ Assembly is at. If they don’t, there won’t.

“The speech was a stalling exercise designed to appease the SNP membership and Yes movement by not explicitly putting a second referendum beyond 2021, in the hope something (such as ... a general election) happens to change the deadlock by which the UK government can just say ‘No’ indefinitely.”

READ MORE: First Minister rejects Tory claims indyref bill needs Whitehall approval

Scottish Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Whatever the First Minister says about being ‘inclusive’, her statement is inherently divisive. Astonishingly, the way Nicola Sturgeon thinks we can come together is for Scotland to be plunged into another divisive referendum within the next 18 months.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Nicola Sturgeon is using her office as First Minister to put the interests of the SNP before the interests of our country. Her statement ... is not about Brexit, this is about Nicola Sturgeon trying to pacify her party members and backbenchers ahead of the SNP’s conference.”