Scots revive their call for independence after Brexit

RSTV Bureau

Flag_of_ScotlandSoon after Brexit, Scotland revived its call for independence. The country wants to tear away from the United Kingdom and wants to be a part of the European Union.

Latest surveys say that more than half of the Scots now want independence and there is a possibility of another Scottish referendum.

Leader of pro-independence Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon vowed to protect Scotland against the “devastating” fallout of Brexit.

In 2014, Scotland had rejected independence in a referendum. But now, Sturgeon says, the landscape has completely changed.

The United Kingdom — as it was when Scotland voted to stay in it — “does not exist anymore,” said Sturgeon.

Britain as a whole voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU last week. But interestingly, Scotland voted strongly for Britain to remain — by 62 percent to 38 percent.

“What’s going to happen with the UK is that there are going to be deeply damaging and painful consequences… I want to try and protect Scotland from that,” Sturgeon told the BBC.

Scots rejected independence two years ago by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, but surveys taken after Thursday’s vote showed most would now back going it alone.

According to Sturgeon, a new independence vote was now “highly likely” and that Scotland was seeking “immediate discussions” with European leaders.

A Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times found 52 percent of respondents wanted to break with the rest of Britain, while 48 percent were opposed.

In another poll for Scotland’s Sunday Post by research firm Scotpulse, 59 percent said they would vote for independence.

Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports on whether the Scottish Parliament can block a Brexit. Some experts say, Scotland can only withhold a consent, but isn’t the same as blocking it.

Sturgeon party has 63 out of 129 seats in the devolved parliament, and 54 out of 650 seats in Britain’s House of Commons.

Setting out Scotland’s negotiating position with Brussels, Sturgeon said that the country will not need to rejoin the EU as a new member state because it would never leave.

“Our argument is that we don’t want to leave. It’s not that we want to leave and get back in,” she said.

She also cautioned any future British prime minister against vetoing a new Scottish independence vote.

“I think people in Scotland would find that completely unacceptable,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)