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On Brexit Eve, Scottish Parliament votes for second independence referendum
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has won a key vote for a second independence referendum, triggering accusations from British ministers that her demands are premature.
Scotland: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has won a key vote for a second independence referendum, triggering accusations from British 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 United Kingdom the powers to stage a fresh independence vote at around the time Britain leaves the European Union (EU), in spring 2019, reports the Guardian.
She is due to write to British Prime Minister Theresa May later this week, asking for Westminster to hand Holyrood the temporary powers to stage the referendum under a section 30 order. She said she would avoid writing until May had invoked article 50 to trigger the Brexit process, which she is expected to do on Wednesday. "It is not my intention to do so confrontationally, instead I only seek sensible discussion," Sturgeon told MSPs.
The vote, which split the Scottish parliament between pro- and anti-independence parties, deepened the dispute between the two governments over both the need for and the timing of the vote.
Sturgeon added, "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," she said.
Meanwhile, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats said Sturgeon was neglecting the parlous state of Scottish public services in her pursuit of an unpopular constitutional obsession.