Tuesday

5th Jul 2022

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.

Opinion

Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways

For the most part Nato and its 30 leaders rose to the occasion — but it wasn't without room for improvement. The lesson remains that Nato still doesn't know how or want to hold allies accountable for disruptive behaviour.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. ECB announces major green shift in corporate bond-buying
  2. Ex-Frontex chief 'uninvited' from parliament committee
  3. Czech presidency and key nuclear/gas vote This WEEK
  4. The human rights aspects of Grenoble's 'burkini' controversy
  5. Council must act on core of EU migration package
  6. Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways
  7. Czech presidency to fortify EU embrace of Ukraine
  8. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us