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Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland announces plans for second UK-exit referendum

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new referendum plan on Scotland's independence because London has failed to consider Edinburgh's interests regarding Brexit.

Published: March 14, 2017, 9:45 am

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    It comes in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May preparations to formally launch Brexit negotiations.

    Sturgeon told a press conference in Bute House, Edinburgh, on Monday she will stand up for Scotland’s interest. Claiming that a ‘hard Brexit’ would “damage the economy and change the very nature of our society and country,” Sturgeon announced her intention to go to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood as soon as next week.

    The UK’s leader Theresa May is now faced with either a referendum or a constitutional headache as Scotland would have a clear majority in facing Westminster. If Westminster does give the green light to holding a second referendum, it is most likely to take place in late 2018 or early 2019.

    On Monday, Sturgeon confirmed that she will ask London to give Edinburgh legal powers to hold a vote under section 30 of the Scotland Act.

    The risks for the UK government are high to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, as Scotland held an independence referendum on September 18, 2014, with the No campaign securing 55.3 percent of the vote.

    Scotland would be making a case for a “progressive internationalist” foreign policy,

    Her announcement coincided with the final vote on the Brexit bill passing through the British House of Commons on Monday evening, triggering Article 50 as early as Tuesday, formally launching Brexit negotiations with the EU.

    May is unlikely to allow Nicola Sturgeon to hold a second Scottish independence referendum until after Brexit takes place, the Independent reported. “The tunnel vision that the SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable. It sets Scotland on a course for more uncertainty and division, creating huge uncertainty,” May said.

    The BBC’s Today programme reported May was “unlikely” to allow it before then, while the Daily Telegraph cited sources close to the Prime Minister as saying she would not grant authority to hold the vote until several months after Brexit.

    The latest Ipso MORI poll shows half of Scotland’s population would favor independence.

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