Sturgeon Declares Second Scottish Independence Referendum ‘Highly Likely’ After Brexit
June 24, 2016
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the results of the UK’s referendum on its membership of the European Union make the prospect of a second referendum on Scottish independence “very likely”.
The British public as a whole has voted in favour of the UK exiting the EU but in Scotland a majority voted for Britain to remain as part of the union.
In light of these results, with 62 per cent of Scots on the wrong side of the vote, Sturgeon described the prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU against the wishes of its people as being “democratically unacceptable”.
As leader of the Scottish National Party, Ms Sturgeon included in her manifesto ahead of Scottish elections in May a point which said a second referendum on independence should be a right the country has the option to exercise if circumstances change substantially from those that existed at the time of the first referendum in 2014.
“It is, therefore, a statement of the obvious that a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table,” she said during a speech in Edinburgh after the results of the UK’s Brexit vote were announced.
Meanwhile, in Westminster, Britain’s prime minister David Cameron announced that he intends to stand down from his position later this year in light of the EU referendum results.
A majority of 52 per cent to 48 per cent of the voting public in the UK indicated at the polls that they wanted Britain to pull out of the EU but each of the 32 councils in Scotland voted for Britain to remain in the union.
In her statements on Friday, Sturgeon said that she “deeply regretted” the divisions that now appear to exist between Scotland and other parts of the UK.
“I intend to take all possible steps and explore all possible options to give effect to how people in Scotland voted – in other words to secure our continuing place in the EU, and in the single market in particular,” she said.
“I think an independence referendum is now highly likely but I also think it is important that we take time to consider all steps and have the discussions, not least to assess the response of the European Union to the vote that Scotland expressed yesterday.”