Second Referendum on Scottish Independence

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Concept.png Second Referendum on Scottish Independence Rdf-icon.png
HMS Brexit.jpg
In Scotland 62% voted to "Remain" in the EU

The Scottish Government has proposed holding a second referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom (UK). In March 2017, the Scottish Parliament authorised the Scottish Government to request a transfer of powers from the UK Parliament to hold a referendum,[1] but the UK Parliament and Government have not agreed to this request to date. Scotland is one of the four countries of the UK. It has representation in the UK Parliament and the devolved Scottish Parliament has control over some internal matters.

A referendum on Scottish independence was first held in September 2014, when 55% voted against the proposal. One of the reasons cited by those opposed to Scottish independence was that it would endanger Scotland being part of the European Union (EU). Following the Conservative Party's victory in the May 2015 UK General Election, a referendum on UK membership of the EU was organised. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which supports Scottish independence, stated in its manifesto for the May 2016 Scottish Parliament election that it would consider holding a second independence referendum if there was a material change of circumstances, such as the UK leaving the EU. The "Leave" side won the June 2016 EU Referendum with 52% of the vote. In Scotland 62% voted to "Remain" in the EU, with a majority of voters in every local authority area.

There has since been debate about whether there should be a second Scottish independence referendum, or if it is possible for Scotland to maintain links with the EU after the UK leaves. On 16 March 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May stated that "now is not the time" to discuss another referendum, because the focus should be on "working together, not pulling apart" for Brexit negotiations.[2] That month, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, announced she would seek Scottish Parliament approval to negotiate with the UK Government for a Section 30 of the Scotland Act order enabling a second independence referendum, which would take place between late 2018 and early 2019, "when the shape of the UK's Brexit deal will become clear";[3] this approval was obtained on 28 March. At the end of March, The First Minister sent the formal request to the UK Government for a Section 30 order.[4] To date, there has been no formal response from the UK Government.

SNP support for a second referendum was suggested to be a contributory factor to the party losing seats in the UK/2017 General Election. The party won 35 of the 59 Scottish seats, 21 fewer seats than in the 2015 election. On 27 June 2017, Nicola Sturgeon declared that her government would "reset" the referendum plan to delay it until after the Brexit process has finished.[5]


References

  1. Dickie, Mure (28 March 2017). "Scottish parliament backs second independence referendum". Financial Times.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  2. "Scottish independence: Referendum demand 'will be rejected'". bbc.com. BBC. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  3. "Scotland must have choice over future". Scottish Government. 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-03-13.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  4. "Sturgeon signs independence vote request". BBC News. 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  5. "Nicola Sturgeon puts Scottish independence referendum bill on hold". BBC. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
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