Edinburgh, Mar 31: Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has written a letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May seeking a second Scottish independence referendum after winning a key vote in the Scottish Parliament a.k.a. Holyrood, triggering accusations from UK ministers that her demands are premature.
Sturgeon won by a 10-vote majority after the Scottish Greens backed her proposals to formally request from the UK government the powers to stage a fresh independence vote at around the time Britain leaves the EU, i.e. in spring 2019.
Sturgeon, following Parliament’s permission, has written a letter to May asking for Westminster to hand Holyrood the temporary powers to stage the referendum under a Section 30 order.
“It is not my intention to do so confrontationally, instead I only seek sensible discussion,” Sturgeon told Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs). She also said that her mandate for another vote is now "beyond question" and warned it would be “democratically indefensible and utterly unsustainable” to attempt to stand in the way.
She had told MSPs on Tuesday: “My argument is simply this: when the nature of the change which 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.
“The people of Scotland should have the right to choose between Brexit or becoming an independent country able to chart our own course and create a true partnership of equals across these islands.”
The vote, which split the Scottish parliament cleanly between pro- and anti-independence parties, deepened the dispute between the two governments over both the need for and the timing of the vote.
David Mundell, the Scottish secretary, told reporters that UK’s answer to Sturgeon’s request would be no. “We won’t be entering any negotiations at all until the Brexit process is complete,” he said.
“Now is the time for the Scottish government to come together with the UK government, work together to get the best possible deal for the UK, and that means Scotland, as we leave the EU.”
A UK government spokeswoman said: “We have been joined together as one country for more than 300 years. We’ve worked together, we’ve prospered together, we’ve fought wars together, and we have a bright future. At this crucial time, we should be working together, not pulling apart.”
During the Brexit referendum in June 2016, 62% of Scots had voted in favour of remaining in the European Union. Thus, with Brexit negotiations still in its infancy, and future of Scotland’s membership of EU uncertain, FM Nicola Sturgeon has sent the independence referendum seeking letter to PM May which certainly will be an additional headache to her besides Brexit.
Full text of Sturgeon’s letter can be read on the following link: https://news.gov.scot/news/section-30- letter