The Scottish first minister says British Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to compromise on Scotland's Brexit wish list. Sturgeon wants the referendum to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. The UK government must now decide whether ...and more »
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says she WILL request a
second independence referendum for Scotland.
The Scottish first minister
says British Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to
compromise on Scotland's Brexit wish list.
Sturgeon wants the referendum to take place between
autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
The UK government must now decide whether to grant
A poll published last week put support for independence
at its highest level in months.
LONDON â€” Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she intends to
trigger another referendum on Scottish independence from the UK.
Speaking at Bute House in Edinburgh on Monday morning, the first
minister of Scotland said she planned to pursue Section 30, the
legal mechanism for initiating an independence referendum, next
Sturgeon said she was doing the "right thing for the country" by
giving Scots the opportunity to avoid dropping out of the
European single market in a "hard" British exit, or Brexit, from
the European Union.
The Scottish National Party leader said Scotland's requests
relating to Britain's exit from the EU had hit a "brick wall."
She accused the UK government of abandoning the "language of
partnership" after talks between the Scottish administration and
British Prime Minister Theresa May's government regarding Brexit
had begun positively.
"I cannot pretend to the Scottish people that a compromise looks
even remotely likely," Sturgeon said.
She added that her "door will always be open to discussion" with
May but said she would seek to deliver another independence
referendum if Scotland is not given a more favourable Brexit
Independence would create a "genuine partnership of equals rather
than the claimed partnership of equals," she said.
Here's the moment Sturgeon made the
Sturgeon must secure the approval of Scottish Parliament before
going to the UK government with a referendum request.
A motion should be passed, though, as the pro-independence SNP is
likely to be supported by Green Party Members of Scottish
Parliament. The UK government would then need to decide whether
to grant Sturgeon's wish and authorise Scotland's second
independence referendum in less than five years.
Scotland voted to stay part of the UK in 2014.
The Brexit is expected to officially get underway this week, with MPs and Lords expected to
approve the passage of the European Union (Notification of
Withdrawal) Bill. May has made it clear that she plans to remove
the country from the single market.
Speaking in October before May announced her intention to end
Britain's single-market membership, Sturgeon said:
"We will propose new powers to help keep Scotland in the single
market even if the UK leaves. But if the Tory government rejects
these efforts â€” if it insists on taking Scotland down a path that
hurts our economy, costs jobs, lowers our living standards and
damages our reputation as an open, welcoming, diverse country â€”
then be in no doubt.
"Scotland must have the ability to choose a better future. And I
will make sure that Scotland gets that chance."
Scots voted to remain in the EU by 62% to 38% in the June Brexit
The first minister had triggered huge speculation that she
planned to call another independence referendum last week when
she publicly described autumn 2018 as a
"common sense" time to hold it another Scotland-wide vote.
Speaking on Monday morning, she reaffirmed her belief that
sometime between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 would be the best
time for another referendum to be held, as it would most likely
be midway through the Brexit talks, when Scots would have a much
clearer picture of what leaving the EU would mean for them.
Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson accused Sturgeon
of dividing the country. She tweeted:
Reacting to the news, May said another Scottish independence
referendum would cause "huge economic uncertainty at the worst
possible time" â€” the full statement on her behalf said:
"As the Prime Minister has set out, the UK Government seeks a
future partnership with the EU that works for the whole of the
United Kingdom. The UK Government will negotiate that agreement,
but we will do so taking into account the interests of all of the
nations of the UK.
"We have been working closely with all the devolved
administrations â€” listening to their proposals, and recognising
the many areas of common ground, including workers' rights, the
status of EU citizens living in the UK, and our security from
crime and terrorism.
"Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted
decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum
which the Scottish government defined as a 'once in a generation'
vote. The evidence clearly shows that a majority of people in
Scotland do not want a second independence referendum. Another
referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty
at the worst possible time.
"The Scottish government should focus on delivering good
government and public services for the people in Scotland."
Jeremy Corbyn said that Scottish Labour would vote against a
referendum but that the UK Labour Party would not block it at the
Westminster level if it reached this stage:
"The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was billed as a
once-in-a-generation event. The result was decisive and there is
no appetite for another referendum.
"Labour believes it would be wrong to hold another so soon, and
Scottish Labour will oppose it in the Scottish Parliament.
"If, however, the Scottish Parliament votes for one, Labour will
not block that democratic decision at Westminster.
"If there is another referendum, Labour will oppose independence
because it is not in the interests of any part of the country to
break up the UK."
A poll published last week put support for Scottish independence
at its highest level since the weeks immediately following the
Brexit vote. "Yes" was level with "No" on 50%, according to Ipsos MORI.
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