Scottish lawmakers back call for independence vote
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 17:10
The Scottish parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of holding a second referendum on independence, thereby endorsing the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
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.
Scottish voters rejected independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent in a referendum in 2014, but Sturgeon believes Britain voting to leave the European Union was a material change in circumstances which means people should again be asked the question.
Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum that Sturgeon's Scottish National Party called a once-in-a-generation vote.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to trigger Article 50 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday, a formal step that will start two years of talks on withdrawal terms and future trade relations.
The Scottish government has repeatedly reached out to the United Kingdom government to seek a compromise position that would allow Scotland to stay in the single market even if we leave the EU.
After Tuesday's vote, a United Kingdom government spokeswoman rejected the idea of a referendum, which could take place as early as fall 2018 under Sturgeon's proposal - in other words, before Brexit negotiations are expected to formally wrap up.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale also opposed a second vote: "Brexit isn't the motivation for another referendum, it's just the latest excuse".
"At this point, all our focus should be on our negotiations with the European Union, making sure we get the right deal for the whole of the UK".
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson insisted the majority of Scots did not want another referendum now.
But Scottish Secretary David Mundell seems to have hardened Westminsters opposition to a second referendum as he said the government would not be discussing any independence vote with the Scottish leadership until after Brexit.
"This is, first and foremost, about giving the people of Scotland a choice on this country's future".
Britain is getting a new prime minister much earlier than expected. May was confirmed as Britai...
Mrs May and Ms Sturgeon may have Brexit and Scottish independence at the front of their minds right now.
Scott Murray, a 71-year-old music tutor, said the vote for Brexit had changed everything. "I feel that we are divorced from what happens in the south of England and we should be our own country and stand on our own two feet".
"They say they speak for the people of Scotland, but they don't speak for the people of Scotland because they are not representing me whatsoever", he said.