Saturday

27th Nov 2021

Scotland plans independence vote before Brexit

  • Sturgeon: "We will do everything we can to protect Scotland’s interests" (Photo: Phyllis Buchanan)

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has presented a bill proposing that a referendum on Scotland's independence be held before the UK pulls out of the EU.

"A draft bill giving Scotland the ability to reconsider the question of independence before the UK leaves the EU has been published for consultation," a government statement said on Thursday (20 October).


Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The question of the referendum will be: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The government will decide later whether to table the bill in the Scottish parliament, depending on the progress of talks between London and Edinburgh, and between the UK and EU.

“My priority is clear – we will do everything we can to protect Scotland’s interests," Sturgeon said in the statement.

“The damage to jobs and Scotland’s economy that will be caused by Brexit – especially a hard Brexit - is now plain to see," she said, adding that her government "will continue to work UK wide to seek to avert a hard Brexit".

"If we find that our interests cannot be properly or fully protected within a UK context then independence must be one of the options open to us and the Scottish people must have the right to consider it," she added.



Sturgeon announced last week at the conference of her Scottish National Party (SNP) that she would present the bill.

She took the decision after British prime minister Theresa May implicitly accused her party and government of being "divisive nationalists" trying to "undermine" and "drive apart" the UK.

The referendum bill will be open to a public consultation until 11 January 2017.


Scotland rattles sabre on independence

The Scottish first minister said that a bill for a referendum would be published next week and attacked the British prime minister over her EU exit positions.

May extends Brexit olive branch

The British PM is to launch new Brexit talks with Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as nerves fray, also among banks, at the prospect of a "hard" EU exit.

News in Brief

  1. Covid variant: EU to block travel from southern Africa
  2. France and UK seek EU help on Channel migrants
  3. New Swedish PM who resigned after 7 hours gets second chance
  4. Belgium to decide on Friday on Covid measures
  5. UK rings alarm on new Covid strain in South Africa
  6. Turkish police use tear gas at women's rights march
  7. Poland calls for more Nato troops
  8. Ex-Navalny aide leaves Russia

Post-Brexit talks in last push until Sunday

The probability of no deal has increased as a last-ditch effort by British prime minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen did not bridge gaps.

Opinion

What a No Deal Brexit is going to look like

Research by the London School of Economics forecasts that a no-deal Brexit could be three times as bad as the pandemic for the UK economy, writes mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the president of the Committee of the Regions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Belgium goes into three-week 'lockdown light'
  2. MEPs list crimes of 'Kremlin proxy' mercenaries
  3. EU to open up 'black box' of political ads
  4. Can the ECB solve climate change and inflation on its own?
  5. EU set to limit vaccine certificate to nine months
  6. Surprise coalition in Romania without former Renew's Ciolos
  7. This 'Black Friday' is a turning point in corporate accountability
  8. West struggling to show strength on Ukraine

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us