Sturgeon Threatens Scottish Independence Vote Over Brexit

Scotland will push for a second independence referendum if Tory Prime Minister Theresa May follows through with plans to take the United Kingdom out of the single market in a 'hard Brexit, ' Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon has signaled.

Nicola Sturgeon will say Scotland intends to remain at the "very heart" of Europe as she unveils a four-point plan aimed at increasing trade and exports in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Ms Sturgeon opened the conference by announcing that legislation paving the way to a second referendum would be published within days - and closed the event with a warning to the Prime Minister that it would be enacted if Scotland's wishes on Brexit were ignored.

Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, speaks at the party's annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain October 13, 2016.

The Scottish Government will set up a new Board of Trade, she said, along with a trade envoy scheme where prominent figures from the business world and other communities will help promote Scotland overseas.

The Corsican politician added: "Greenland is a part of Denmark but outside of the European Union, with the same logic Europe should enable Scotland to stay in the European Union, even if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union".

Mrs May's official spokeswoman told a Westminster briefing: "The position of the Prime Minister and the Government hasn't changed".

Her strategy will significantly strengthen the trade promotions that the Scottish government now runs overseas with the help of the Foreign Office and follows her threat this week to stage a second independence vote if May's Brexit package is too restrictive.

She said if the British government rejects those efforts and takes steps to hurt Scotland's economy she would "make sure" that Scots get another chance to choose a better future.

But the conference supported a motion on Friday which said Scotland "should prepare for a second independence referendum and seek to remain in Europe as an independent country".

To our European friends, we say: "Scotland is open for business".

A new "investment hub" to showcase the country will be established in Berlin, and the agency Scottish Development International will have its European staff more than doubled.

She said: "We are going to work with others across the political divide to avert a hard Brexit not just for Scotland but for the whole UK".

While the SNP does not hold a Holyrood majority, there are more pro-independence than pro-union MSPs in the Scottish Parliament taking into account the six Greens.

The SNP leader also declared that Scotland would expand its presence in Europe through trade missions, including a permanent representation in Berlin.

Setting herself up for a battle with Mrs May will serve Ms Sturgeon in future elections: The SNP's pitch to voters is that it is best placed to fight for Scotland's interests.

The Scottish government's draft referendum bill may be making headlines, but as discussed above, the idea of the SNP demanding a second referendum has been anticipated in Scotland for a long time.

"Your party put us here", Sturgeon said, addressing May.

Though overall Britain voted to leave.

Some who voted No in 2014, she said, might have still believed Labour could take power in Westminster.

Related:

Comments


Other news