Scottish Parliament Supports Independence Referendum Ahead Of Brexit

Outside, several dozen independence supporters bearing Scottish and European Union flags broke into cheers and tears of joy as they heard the news.

David Mundell, the British government's Scotland minister, said the United Kingdom government would not be "entering into negotiations on whether there should be another independence referendum during the Brexit process".

"It would be unfair to the people of Scotland to ask them to make a crucial decision without the necessary information about our future relationship with Europe, or what an independent Scotland would look like", the official said, according to Reuters.

The vote comes a day before Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, the first formal step towards Brexit. But Britain government has already said it will block a referendum until after the Brexit process has been completed.

The vote was delayed but will be held on Tuesday, with t he Scottish Greens expected to help the minority Scottish Government pass its motion asking for a mandate to take forward discussions with the UK Government on the details of a section 30 order, the mechanism to transfer the legal powers for a vote.

Scots voted against independence by 55 to 45 percent in 2014 but Sturgeon argues the Brexit vote changed circumstances and they should not be dragged out of the European Union against their will. She stressed that "my argument is simply this: when the nature of the change that is made inevitable by Brexit becomes clear, that change should not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change".

A previous referendum on the issue, in 2014, showed 55 percent of voters against the proposal, compared to 45 percent who voted in favor of independence.

Talks of a new referendum gained momentum following a spat between Britain and Scotland over the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives all opposed the referendum.

The Herald says battle lines have been drawn as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon secured the endorsement of the Scottish Parliament for a second independence referendum.

The Scottish parliament had been due to vote on Sturgeon's referendum demand last week, but the session was adjourned after Wednesday's extremist attack in London.

But the Scottish National Party, the largest party in the Parliament, will be backed by the Green Party, enabling Sturgeon to put May under increased pressure.

  • Leroy Wright