Monday, March 13, 2017

Scotland's first minister announces second referendum bid

Scotland's first minister on Monday announced she would consult the Westminster government for permission to hold a second independence referendum within the next two years.

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, made the announcement at a press conference in the first minister's official Bute House residence in Edinburgh.

"I will take the steps necessary to make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process: the choice of whether to follow the United Kingdom to a hard Brexit, or become an independent country," she told the press.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly in favor of retaining membership of the European Union in the June 2016 referendum, but was set to withdraw along with the rest of the UK as voters in England and Wales tipped the overall balance by voting to leave.

She went on: "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."

The SNP leader said the independence ballot would take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 and would involve a simple 'yes' or 'no' option.

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