Lawmakers in Scotland back referendum on independence from Britain
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 20:05
Lawmakers on Tuesday voted to give Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon authority to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence in the near future, even in the face of continued resistance from the British government.
The Scottish parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of a bid to hold the second independence referendum in light of Brexit between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, Sputnik reported.
Ms. Sturgeon will now make a formal request for a referendum but she needs approval from the British government and parliament in London to do so and Ms.
"The mandate for a referendum is beyond question, and it would be democratically indefensible - and utterly unsustainable - to attempt to stand in the way of it", Sturgeon said.
May has said "now is not the time" for a new vote on Scottish independence and insisted her focus was on getting a good Brexit deal that would work for every part of the UK.
That might look hard at the moment, but a window for any referendum could be found that allows it to be held after the results of the Brexit negotiations are clear - voters also have to be given a decent time in a referendum campaign to consider the consequences of Brexit, which is likely to take us into 2020 or beyond.
She is due to write to British Prime Minister Theresa May later this week, asking for Westminster to hand Holyrood the temporary powers to stage the referendum under a section 30 order.
She added: "I hope the United Kingdom government will respect the will of this parliament".
With the deadlock between the two governments becoming more entrenched, Ms Sturgeon said she would return to parliament after next week's recess to set out the next steps she will take "to progress the will of the parliament".
Sturgeon has claimed a referendum is necessary so that Scotland can decide for its own destiny, namely to stay in the union or divorce and become independent. "It will be a journey that will involve the negotiations with the European Union, it may be a journey that involves transitional measures, it may be a journey that involves significant implementation time".
"The Prime Minister says that now is not the time for a referendum. Pulling together to make sure we get the best possible deal for the whole of the United Kingdom", she told reporters.
Speaking as she confirmed more than 300 jobs will be created over the next five years by a global professional services firm in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon told BBC Scotland that she hoped Brexit "goes well".
The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson described the action as "regrettable".
The motion, put forward by Sturgeon, passed by 69 votes in favour and 59 votes against in the Scottish parliament.
Sturgeon was strongly criticised during the debate by lawmakers from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat opposition parties who said most Scots were exhausted of the independence debate and did not wish to go through the argument again so soon.
Mr Robertson said: " The Prime Minister could have said she would try to seek an agreement with European partners on the plan, which could have protected Scotland's place in the European market, but she didn't.