NEW VOTE SOUGHT
It should be held between late next year and early 2019, says first minister
SCOTLAND’S leader yesterday said she would seek authority for a new independence referendum because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would move quickly to give Scottish voters a chance to make Scotland an independent country.
Sturgeon said the referendum should be held between late 2018 and early 2019.
She said by then, details of Britain’s post-Brexit deal with the EU would be clear and Scottish voters would be able to make “an informed choice”.
The British government must agree before a legally binding referendum can be held. Sturgeon spoke as Britain’s Parliament was on the verge of approving a Brexit bill that would allow Britain to start the formal withdrawal from the EU in the next few days.
Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum, but Sturgeon said the UK’s decision to leave the EU had brought about a “material change of circumstances”.
Sturgeon said British Prime Minister Theresa May had so far refused to compromise with Scotland over Brexit, and warned that May’s Conservative Party may govern until 2030 because of weakness in the Labour Party opposition.
Downing Street said in a statement yesterday a second Scottish independence referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time for Britain.