Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, says Scotland will once again consider an independence referendum when Britain offers certainty over the terms of Brexit.
“Once we get some clarity, which hopefully we will in autumn of this year, about the Brexit outcome and the future relationship between the UK and the EU, then I will consider again the question of the timing of an independence referendum,” she said on Sunday.
Sturgeon also said her pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) will not block another Brexit vote regardless of any final deal over Britain’s divorce from the European Union. However, she said she was worried about what would happen if different parts of the UK voted for different outcomes in the same way they did in 2016.
The first minster said Brexit will cause damage to Scotland’s economy and hinted that independence from the UK would create economic “opportunities.”
“As you know we’ve had a growth commission looking at the economic opportunities of independence. Its report will be published in the coming days and I think that’s quite an important moment, because if you think about the last couple of years in the UK it has been very much a debate about how we cope with the damage of Brexit.”
In March 2017, Scotland’s parliament authorized Edinburgh to request a transfer of powers from the UK parliament to hold a referendum, but London has not agreed to such request as of yet.
Opposition pro-Britain Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party shadow spokesman for Finance lashed out at the report arguing that “the SNP Growth Commission has always been more about promoting independence than it was about growing the economy.”
“Therefore it is no surprise that Nicola Sturgeon is using this report to begin another push for IndyRef2 [independence referendum 2].”
Scotland against Brexit
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Scotland voted in favor of the UK staying in the EU by 62 percent to 38 percent while 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the EU.
Sturgeon said after that vote that Scotland had delivered a “strong, unequivocal vote” to remain in the EU.
The last time Scots voted on independence was in 2014, when 55.30 percent voted to stay while 44.70 percent voted to leave.