Scotland’s pro-independence government has set out new rules on referendums in the hope of holding another secession vote in the second half of 2020 if Britain’s parliament gives the go-ahead. A bill presented to the devolved Scottish parliament on Wednesday aims to give clear ground rules that are legally watertight for any referendum vote. In 2014, Scots rejected leaving their 300-year-old union with England and Wales by 55 to 45%. Polls say support for independence has grown since, but a majority still back the current UK political structure. Results from last week’s European election, in which Nicola Sturgeon’s pro-EU Scottish National Party (SNP) increased its share of the vote to take three of six EU parliament seats assigned to Scotland, appear to have strengthened Sturgeon’s hand and show the antipathy to Brexit north of the English border. Sturgeon’s government wants to give visibility and purpose to the discontent in Scotland over Britain’s exit from the European Union. That puts extra pressure on a UK government and parliament riven by political acrimony and unable to decide the shape of Brexit. “Just published a bill to set the rules for an independence referendum – to allow the Scottish people to choose our own future rather than having a Brexit future imposed on us,” Nicola Sturgeon tweeted. The bill prepares for a secession vote which the UK government says it will not allow. That position is untenable, Sturgeon argues. “It is essential the UK government recognises that it would be a democratic outrage
The First Minister is to open her party’s conference by saying the people of Scotland deserve better than Westminster chaos. The “shambles of Brexit” has strengthened the case for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has declared as the SNP Conference opens in Glasgow.
“The shambles of Brexit makes the case for independence more compelling than ever – with Westminster ignoring Scotland’s voice and interests and undermining devolution with a power grab on the Scottish Parliament.”