Scottish parliament backs bid for new independence referendum

The United Kingdom's vote past year to exit the European Union has strained ties between its four constituent parts because England and Wales voted to leave while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain.

On the first day of the debate, Ms Sturgeon said: "In the circumstances we now face, for the UK Government to stand in the way of Scotland even having a choice would be, in my view, wrong, unfair and utterly unsustainable".

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, wants the referendum held within two years.

He added: The problem for Nicola Sturgeon is that (independence supporters) don't number more than 50% of the Scottish population, according to the opinion polls.

Ms Sturgeon said she would delay making the section 30 request - the mechanism for the transfer of powers to hold the referendum - until "later this week".

She said yesterday that if London sought to block her plan, she would return to the Scottish Parliament after the Easter break to say how she would handle the situation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been saying "now is not the time" for a second independence referendum.

Addressing parliament on Wednesday, May will acknowledge that the June vote for Brexit had been divisive, but will express hope "that we are no longer defined by the vote we cast, but by our determination to make a success of the result".

In response to the debate, Sturgeon released a statement saying “todays vote must now be respected” and that it would be “utterly unsustainable” to try and oppose it.

The Green MSP Andy Wightman defended his party's support for another referendum, arguing 2014's "no" vote was "incompatible" with Scotland's vote to Remain in the European Union past year.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the UK Government would not consider referendum discussions until the Brexit process is complete and underlined his opposition to Ms Sturgeon's proposal for a vote in around 18 months time.

"I think it makes it very hard for the Prime Minister to maintain a rational opposition to a referendum in the time scale I have set out", Sturgeon said. "Now is the time for the Scottish government to come together with the United Kingdom government, work together to get the best possible deal for the United Kingdom, and that will mean for Scotland, as we leave the European Union", he told the BBC.

In a 2014 referendum for Scottish independence, Scots rejected independence, but Sturgeon believes that Brexit has changed matters and people should be able to vote again. "At this crucial time we should be working together, not pulling apart".

Lawmakers from the Green Party joined forces with members of the Scottish National Party to back Sturgeon's controversial measure, which passed with 69 votes to 59.

Scott Murray, a 71-year-old music tutor, said the vote for Brexit had changed everything.

  • Leroy Wright