Scotland's first minister calls for new independence vote before 2021

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Scotland's first minister calls for new independence vote before 2021

Post by 100freeads » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm

ImageScotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks in the Scottish Parliament during continued Brexit uncertainty in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain, April 24, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON -- People in Scotland should be given the chance before 2021 to vote for independence from the United Kingdom, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a major speech Wednesday.

Sturgeon made the call in a speech to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood following the decision by the EU Council to extend Britain's membership of the bloc until Oct 31.

In her statement to MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament), Sturgeon said: "A choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation should be offered in the lifetime of this Parliament.

"I can confirm that the Scottish Government will act to ensure that the option of giving people a choice on independence later in this term of Parliament is progressed," she said.

She also said the British government at Westminster should revoke Article 50 rather than press ahead with Brexit if leaving with no deal is the only option.

Article 50 is the mechanism triggered as part of Britain's exit process from the EU.

Sturgeon, who is also leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), warned that as new deadline October approaches the risk of a no deal Brexit will rise again.

"The immediate priority we now have is to stop Brexit for the whole UK and we should seize that opportunity, and my party will seek to do so," she added.

If that cannot be achieved, said Sturgeon, dealing with the consequences of Brexit, and facing up to its challenges, will be unavoidable.

"I believe that the case for independence is now stronger than ever and I will make that case," she said.

She said the Scottish government will take the necessary legislative steps to pave the way for a referendum over the coming months.

Sturgeon acknowledged that the Scottish government would need the agreement of Westminster before holding a new independence referendum.

In 2014, people in Scotland voted by a 55.3 to 44.7 margin to remain as part of the United Kingdom. In total 2,001,926 voted to stay, with 1,617,989 wanting to leave the UK. Almost 85 percent of voters in Scotland took part in the referendum vote.

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