Economy

Is Scotland Headed for Another Independence Vote?

Is Scotland Headed for Another Independence Vote?

The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said in London: "The 2014 Scottish Independence referendum was billed as a once in a generation event".

The Prime Minister said she felt it would be wrong to put "energies" into another referendum vote while Brexit negotiations are ongoing.

He also urged the Government to give an "immediate" cast iron guarantee to the 3.3 million European Union citizens living here.

Theresa May has rejected calls from Nicola Sturgeon for a second independence referendum.

Sturgeon said voters in Scotland deserved the chance "to decide our future in a fair, free and democratic way" when the terms of Brexit are known.

A quarter of people who voted for independence in 2014 also voted "Leave" in last year's European Union referendum; that is 400,000 voters Ms Sturgeon can not afford to lose next time around.

Although May has yet to indicate how she would respond to a referendum request, commentators at Westminster are predicting that May will not pave the way for a second referendum until Brexit negotiations have been finalized.

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"As I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and so for that reason I say to the SNP "now is not the time".

But as news broke that Ms May is planning to spend the next two weeks touring Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland in an attempt to build support for triggering Article 50, Mr Robertson still appeared to pitch Scottish independence as representing the opposite to Brexit. "We will vote against any request for a Section 30 next week".

David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland said in a statement: "The evidence clearly shows a majority of the people in Scotland do not want a second referendum".

Some 52 per cent of the United Kingdom electorate voted to leave European Union in the June 2016 vote, but only 38 per cent of voting Scots shared that perspective. Sturgeon has reportedly pursued a deal that would allow Scotland to remain in the E.U but has described May's response to that as a "brick wall of intransigence".

Angus Robertson told the Guardian his party's priority was to protect Scotland's membership of the European single market, and he was pressing the Prime Minister to offer a special deal to make this possible.

In a 2014 referendum, Scottish voters rejected independence by a margin of 55 per cent to 45 per cent, but Ms Sturgeon said that the UK's decision to leave the European Union had brought about a "material change of circumstances".

Sturgeon said she was not turning back on further discussions should United Kingdom government change its mind.