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UK: Scotland's first minister outlines plans for new independence vote

i24NEWS - AFP

clock 2 min read

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sets out the case for a second referendum on Scottish independence, during a statement at Bute House in Edinburgh, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019
Neil Hanna/PA via APScotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sets out the case for a second referendum on Scottish independence, during a statement at Bute House in Edinburgh, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019

'Scotland made it very clear last week it does not want a Tory government led by Boris Johnson'

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday outlined plans for a new independence referendum, arguing there was now a clear "constitutional and democratic case" for a fresh vote.

Her Scottish National Party won a landslide north of the border with England in last week's UK-wide election, securing 47 of the 59 seats and nearly half the vote.

That result, and previous SNP majorities at previous general elections in 2015 and 2017, made the case for another referendum "unarguable", she told a news conference in Edinburgh.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives won a sweeping majority countrywide but lost more than half their seats in Scotland after campaigning against a new independence vote.

"Scotland made it very clear last week it does not want a Tory government led by Boris Johnson, taking us out of the European Union," Sturgeon told reporters.

"That is the future we face if we do not have the opportunity to consider the alternative of independence."

Scots voted against independence by 55 percent in 2014 in what was described as a "once-in-a-generation" vote to determine the country's future. 

Pro-independence campaigners said they would not seek another vote unless there was a "material change in circumstances" in Scotland's relations with the rest of the United Kingdom.

But with Johnson set to take Britain out of the EU by the end of next month, nationalists say Brexit is that change, as Scots voted by a majority to remain in the bloc in 2016.