Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
has announced she will ask permission for a second referendum to split from Britain
as London has failed to compromise with Scotland
In a press conference on Monday, Sturgeon said the interest of Scotland could not be ignored at any time and that a referendum would be held late in 2018 or early in 2019.
“I am ensuring that Scotland’s future … will be decided by the people of Scotland,” she said.
She went on to say that the Scottish nation has the right to decide its future in the European Union as Britain is heading for a “hard Brexit.”
“It will be Scotland’s choice and I trust the people of Scotland to make that choice,” she added.
The first minister said she would ask the Scottish lawmakers next week to request a Section 30 order from Westminster so that Scotland could hold a legally-binding referendum.
Sturgeon pointed out that the Scottish people voted 62 percent to 38 percent in the June referendum to remain in the EU, and therefore it must be offered a choice.
“So next week I will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to open discussions with the UK
government on the details of a Section 30 order – the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.”
Pro-independence supporters hold a rally in Glasgow, Scotland on September 19, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
Meanwhile, the leader of Scotland’s opposition party, Ruth Davidson, reaffirmed her intention to prevent the ruling Scottish National Party from holding a second independence referendum.
The British government was quick to react by calling Sturgeon’s plan for an independence referendum divisive.
London said Edinburgh’s move to seek independence at such a time would cause huge economic uncertainly.
Both houses of the UK Parliament will vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill later this week. If it is passed, the bill would allow Prime Minister Theresa May to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Article 50 would initiate two years of talks between London and the 28-nation bloc.
In a referendum held on June 23, nearly 52 percent of British voters, amounting to more than 17 million citizens, opted to leave the EU, a decision that sent shock waves throughout the world.
The majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, however, voted to stay in the bloc.