Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

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).


Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Car lobby uses Brexit to dispute CO2 targets

The lobby group for European car manufacturers has said that if UK sales data is not counted when calculating CO2 emissions, the target should be reviewed. The commission has refused to comment.

May promotes Brexit on 'first-anniversary' UK tour

The British prime minister vowed to "deliver a Brexit that unites" the country, while 44 percent of the public thinks her policy is a "total shambles" but that the decision to leave the EU should be respected.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  2. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  3. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  4. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  5. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  6. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  7. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  8. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes