Scotland to seek second independence referendum, this time over Brexit

Posted March 16, 2017

The PM has said she will trigger Brexit by the "end of the month", warning Nicola Sturgeon it is not the time to "play politics".

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon announced Monday she will seek a new referendum on independence in a bold move of defiance even as British leaders seek a full break from the European Union.

"The tunnel vision that the SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable".

Sturgeon has said a second referendum was needed because of Scottish support for European Union ties but the study found that rising euroscepticism in Scotland could undermine her argument. "Politics is not a game".

Ms Sturgeon said she would go to Holyrood next week and "seek the authority of the Scottish Parliament to agree with the UK Government the details of a section 30 order - the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum".

"A second referendum does now look inevitable though the timing of it remains unclear", said Mark Diffley, director at Ipsos MORI Scotland.

The move comes after almost two thirds (62 percent) of Scots opted to stay in the European Union in June 2016, but the United Kingdom as a whole voted for Brexit. "We have not met with a Government and a Prime Minister who is willing to meet us half way on that. they have moved away from compromise with language that has appeared to become harder and harder", said Sturgeon.

Sturgeon said that the referendum should take place between autumn 2018 and March 2019 because she wants people in Scotland to be able to choose whether to stay in the United Kingdom or leave it before the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

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Many nationalist activists heading to the SNP conference starting on Friday are hopeful about the prospect for independence.

"And I trust the people to make that choice".

She said the chance for a second independence vote is "highly likely" after May failed to include access to the single market in her list of priorities to negotiate with the EU.

"The option of no change is no longer available", she said.

But Ms. Sturgeon argued Monday that the U.K.'s vote to leave Europe represented a "material change" from the circumstances Scots had voted under in 2014.

"Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time", he said, adding that the government had been working closely with all the devolved administrations.

While Mundell refused to be drawn directly on whether it was feasible that May could block the Scottish government's bid for a second referendum either in 2018 or 2019, he did say a referendum could happen.