Scottish Prime Minister sets date for new independence referendum

France Press agency

NOS . News

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set October 19, 2023 as the date for a new independence referendum. If it were up to the Prime Minister, then residents would indicate on that date whether or not Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom. It is a non-binding referendum. In the 2014 referendum, Scots voted to stay with the United Kingdom.

According to British media, Sturgeon wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to formally request permission to hold the referendum. Westminster is still hesitant. Johnson has repeatedly refused to move and London recently declared that now was “not the time” for a new referendum. Even if that permission did not come, she said, Sturgeon wants to organize a referendum.

She said that voting should take place within the framework of the constitution. To make this possible, she wants the British High Court to look into the matter first. This should determine whether Scotland can hold a referendum without London’s consent. Whether the Supreme Court agrees with sturgeon is by no means certain.

In 2014, Scots were also allowed to express themselves on the question of whether they wanted independence from the United Kingdom. A majority of 55 percent said they wanted to stay with the UK. After that, Sturgeon’s SNP said the new referendum would not be reorganized “within a generation”. The SNP leader is regularly reminded of this statement, but according to Sturgeon, Brexit has changed the political situation in a way that justifies a new referendum.

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At the time of the Brexit referendum, 62 per cent of Scots voted to remain in the EU. Throughout the Brexit negotiations, Sturgeon has always insisted that Scotland does not want to leave the EU.

Sturgeon sees herself strong in her struggles since last year. The nationalist parties then secured a majority in the Scottish Parliament in regional elections. Sturgeon SNP won 64 of 129 seats. “What I will never allow is Scottish democracy to become a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any other prime minister,” she said.

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