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Summary

  1. Nicola Sturgeon says a second independence referendum should take place "within this parliamentary term"
  2. The FM sets out an aim to have legislation on the statute books by the end of this year
  3. Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw says Scotland has had enough of constitutional politics
  4. Labour and the Lib Dems also criticise the first minister, while the Greens urge Ms Sturgeon to "fire the starting gun" on indyref2

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Video content

    Video caption: Nicola Sturgeon calls for indyref2 by 2021 Holyrood elections

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Wednesday 24 April 2019.

    Nicola Sturgeon said she wants to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by 2021 if the country is taken out of the EU.

    The first minister told Holyrood that she would introduce legislation soon to set the rules for another vote.

    But she indicated that she would need the agreement of the UK government before actually holding a referendum.

    Downing Street has previously said it will not grant a new Section 30 order, which underpinned the 2014 referendum.

    Ms Sturgeon claimed this position was "unsustainable" and challenged her party to increase support and demand for independence.

    But the prime minister's official spokesman said: "As we have been repeatedly clear, Scotland has already had an independence referendum in 2014 and voted decisively to remain in the United Kingdom. This should be respected. Our position hasn't changed."

  2. Minister highlights funding to support MS research

    Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick
    Image caption: Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick

    Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick says last night's reception at Holyrood showed the importance of investment in research.

    Mr Fitzpatrick praises the work of the MS Society to find a cure for MS.

    He says Stacey Adam made one demand last night that he tell the chamber he has found a cure.

    The minister apologises that he cannot do that, but he points to £500,000 for clinical research in neurological conditions and cites other funding streams.

    Stacey Adam
    Image caption: Stacey Adam listens to the minister close the debate on MS
  3. MS patients must be reassured they are not alone

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur with a painting
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur attended a arts workshop with his local MS group

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says progress made in MS treatments should offer hope for the future.

    He praises the local MS community in Orkney for its activity and energy, which helps improve the lives of people with MS.

    Treatments are vital, but reaching out and reassuring people they are not alone is important too he adds.

  4. Pharma's obligation should be to take a patient centred approach

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie pays warm tribute to George Adam and his wife Stacey.

    Mr Finnie says MS Society Scotland have a research strategy and points out its work on empowerment.

    He urges MSPs to remember the carers who provide support to a lot of people.

    The Green MSP says pharma's obligation should be to take a patient centred approach not focus on profit for shareholders.

    He points to positive advancements in research.

  5. No MS specialist social worker in Scotland

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay
    Image caption: Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay tells the chamber that his brother has been diagnosed with MS and it can be an exasperating condition because of its variability.

    People often battle on and do not shout loud about it, the Labour MSP says, but argues they should be shouting loud about it because there is a lack of MS nurses.

    We have no MS specialist social worker in the whole of the country, he adds.

    "I pray every day for a cure but in the meantime we want the best treatment possible for MS patients in this country, and I'm afraid to say I don't think they're getting it."

  6. MS awareness week is perfect opportunity to improve public understanding

    Tory MSP Annie Wells
    Image caption: Tory MSP Annie Wells

    Tory MSP Annie Wells gives a huge thank you to George Adam and his wife Stacey for securing this debate, as well as all the charities working to fight the disease.

    MS awareness week is the perfect opportunity to improve public understanding of the condition and highlight the need for more research, adds Ms Wells.

    She reiterates it is a life-long condition but not a terminal diagnosis.

  7. Background: Selma Blair 'inspiring' for talking about MS

    Selma Blair

    Selma Blair's been described as "inspiring" and "brave" for speaking out about living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    The Another Life actress opened about her condition on Good Morning America -- the first time since she told fans last year.

    MS is an incurable condition affecting the brain or spinal cord, causing vision, balance and muscle problems.

    Newsbeat's been speaking to 28-year-old Natasha Proctor, who also has MS.

    Read more here.

  8. SNP MSP expresses concern about profiteering in MS treatments

    SNP MSP George Adam

    SNP MSP George Adam jokes that the week has become the Stacey Adam's MS awareness week since he became an MSP.

    He describes his wife as a "force of nature" and suggests that is a common trait among people living with MS.

    Mr Adam goes on to highlights that three times more woman have MS than men, and that nobody with MS has the same symptoms as another person with the condition.

    There are various treatments in place and coming through, but profiteering of pharmaceutical companies is an issue, he warns.

    The SNP MSP calls for better treatment plans and praises the MS Society for raising money to fund research for this.

    George's wife Stacey Adams
    Image caption: George's wife Stacey was diagnosed with MS at 16
  9. Background: Multiple sclerosis

    Nerve connections become damaged in people with MS
    Image caption: Nerve connections become damaged in people with MS
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord
    • It can cause problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance
    • Average life expectancy is slightly reduced
    • It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 people diagnosed with MS in the UK
    • 11,000 people in Scotland live with multiple sclerosis
    • MS Society has invested over £218 million in real terms into research since its inception in 1956

    Source:NHS

  10. Background: MS Awareness Week 2019

    Multiple Sclerosis Trust

    This MS Awareness Week (22-28 April) the Multiple Sclerosis Trust is encouraging everyone to pop on their pumps and introduce a little activity – big or small – into their daily routine.

    Staying active doesn’t need to mean running marathons or going to the gym, it’s about doing it at your own level, at your own pace.

  11. Here's the motion to the debate............

    Here's the motion
  12. MSPs mark MS Awareness Week

    MS Society Scotland

    SNP MSP George Adam will now lead a debate marking MS Awareness Week, which takes place from 22 to 29 April 2019.

  13. MSPs back Green New Deal motion as amended by Scottish government

    The Green motion from the Green New Deal debate, as amended by the Scottish government, is agreed to.

    92 MSPs backed it and 28 voted against.

    Green motion

    The Scottish government amendment is agreed with 61 MSPs backing it and with 60 against.

    Government motion

    The Labour amendment below is rejected with 31 MSPs backing it and with 90 against.

    Labour amendment

    The Tory amendment below is defeated with 29 MSPs backing it and 92 against.

    Tory amendment
  14. Government amendment on GPs narrowly defeated

    The Scottish government's amendment to the Green motion is narrowly defeated with 60 votes for and 61 against.

    The Tory amendment is agreed unanimously, as is Labour's amendment.

    The Green motion, as amended by the Tories and Labour, is also unanimously agreed.

    Green's motion
    Tory amendment
    Labour amendment
  15. Point of order

    Tory MSP Alexander Burnett raises a point of order beginning by pointing out last week the chief executive of the parliament made it clear parliament's resources should not be used for EU election campaigning.

    Mr Burnett says he quotes Nicola Sturgeon from her statement who he says said "the Euro elections will also give people the chance to back a party like the SNP".

    He asks if Nicola Sturgeon has kept to the spirit and letter of the advice given to MSPs.

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh tells Mr Burnett the guidance does not cover what is said in the chamber.

    However he warns MSPs to avoid EU campaigning in the coming weeks.