Scotland Proposes New Independence Vote

Scotland Proposes New Independence Vote Scotland Proposes New Independence Vote

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence, saying Scotland should be able to make this choice “before the UK leaves the EU”. Scots had voted to stay.

Opening the Scottish National Party conference in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon said she would take the first step towards a second independence referendum for Scotland next week, Deutsche Welle reported.

“I can confirm that the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week,” Sturgeon told delegates. She argued that in the event of a “hard Brexit”, particularly the UK leaving the EU without retaining access to the single market, Scotland “will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path”.

Sturgeon even quoted the British Conservative Party’s election manifesto for 2015, which had stated: “We say yes to the single market.”

Despite being careful not to set a desired date for the vote, at one point saying “whenever that might be,” Sturgeon did say the decision should fall prior to the UK leaving the EU. That timeline remains very muddy, but as it stands, British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to trigger an exit process, slated to last two years, early in 2017.

In 2014, 55% of Scottish residents voted to stay a part of the United Kingdom; back then, independence supporters were warned that leaving London would mean an EU exit.

Sturgeon said that she believed the UK’s even narrower 52% vote to leave the EU, when more than 60% of Scots voted to stay, had changed the landscape.

In the event of a hard Brexit, Sturgeon said that the choice at a second independence referendum would pit “an inward-looking, insular, Brexit Britain, governed by a rightwing Tory party obsessed with borders and blue passports at the expense of economic strength and stability” against “a progressive, outward-looking, internationalist Scotland, able to chart our own course and build our own security and prosperity”.

“That is a case we will win,” Sturgeon told the audience in Glasgow, the city she represents in the Scottish Parliament and, as the nationalist herself noted, a city that had voted to split with the UK the first time around in 2014.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints