World Bulletin / News Desk
Scotland will call for a second independence vote after its devolved parliament in Edinburgh backed a referendum motion by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) on Tuesday.
Scottish lawmakers voted to pass the independence referendum motion, a day after Sturgeon met British Prime Minister Theresa May for the last time before the start of official negotiations about the U.K.’s exit from the EU.
The vote on referendum motion was passed by 69 votes to 59.
May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday to start official EU exit negotiations.
Sturgeon said the referendum could be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 "to give the people of Scotland a choice over the future direction and governance of their country".
May previously said "now is not the time" to discuss a referendum. “My position is very simple, and it hasn't changed. It is that now is not the time to be talking about a second independence referendum,” she said Monday.
"Now is a time when we should be pulling together… to ensure we get the best possible deal for the whole of the U.K., including the people of Scotland,” May said following her meeting with Sturgeon.
Scottish voters previously rejected independence from the UK in a 2014 referendum. However, the country’s voters also backed remaining in the EU, but were outnumbered by pro-Leave voters in England and Wales during last June’s Brexit referendum.
This has given fresh impetus to Scottish nationalists in calling for a second independence referendum, dubbed locally as IndyRef2.
Access to single market
Scotland’s access to the European single market was a central issue brought up by Sturgeon since the U.K.’s decision to leave the 28-member bloc.
Sturgeon has demanded that special status for Scotland be included in upcoming Brexit negotiations to give the country continued access to European markets after Brexit.
However, May has insisted that a Brexit deal would be for the whole of the U.K. and would work for all parts of the country.
Sturgeon has also asked for a guarantee on post-Brexit rights for EU citizens who currently live in Scotland and underlined her concerns over EU funds flowing into her country.
-Last Mod: 28 Mart 2017, 20:01