Scotland could demand a second independence referendum if the UK votes to exit the EU, if Scotland is not given more autonomous powers, or suffers because of the Westminster’s austerity policies, the Scottish National Party’s new leader has said.
Nicola Sturgeon, who succeeded Alex Salmond as SNP leader, announced on Friday that a second independence referendum is at the top of her political agenda.
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Sturgeon said it would be “democratically indefensible” not to give Scotland another referendum, if the UK were to hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU in 2017.
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She said her top priorities would be campaigning for separation and winning next year’s general election in Scotland.
“I want this party of ours, this movement of which we’re so proud to belong, to keep making the case for Scotland being an independent country,” said Sturgeon.
“I believe today as strongly as I ever have that we should be independent. I believe perhaps more strongly than I ever have that we will be independent,” she said, according to the Telegraph.
“But that will only happen when a majority of our fellow citizens vote for that in a referendum so our task remains as it has always been, not to impose our will, not to berate those who disagree with us, but to persuade.”
Sturgeon stressed it was for people to decide the future of the country and that a vibrant debate was ongoing as a result of the referendum. “It’s for people to determine the direction of travel,” she told the Guardian.
At a press conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday, he said: “Although the ‘Yes’ vote didn’t win the referendum, I think Scotland is in a good position to gain substantially from that process. I do believe that Scotland will become an independent country.
“I think we’re on a pathway that’s been reinforced by the political events of the past year, if I could be allowed that interpretation.”
On September 18, Scots held a referendum on whether Scotland should break away from the 307-year-old union with the rest of the UK and become an independent country. With a record voter turnout, 55.3 percent voted against independence, while 44.7 percent voted in favor.
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