New Scottish independence drive announced
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a fresh Scottish independence drive after the tumultuous fall-out of the Brexit vote. She urged Scots to engage in the country's "biggest ever political listening exercise" so that she can call for a fresh referendum. She stated that she intends to gauge the public sentiment for or against a fresh independence vote.
Who is Nicola Sturgeon?
Nicola Sturgeon, a Scottish politician, is the first Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party. Ms. Sturgeon has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999. In 2016, Forbes magazine ranked Ms. Sturgeon as the 50th most powerful woman in the world and the 2nd most powerful woman in the United Kingdom.
Scottish Independence referendum 2014
The first referendum on Scottish independence took place on 18 September 2014. Scotland voted to remain as a part of the UK, instead of being an independent state. While 44.7% population voted in favour of an independent state, 55.3% voted against. Uncertainty over Scotland's EU membership was considered to be the major factor contributing in the outcome of the referendum.
Why did Scotland choose to be with the UK?
Around 200,000 trade jobs in Scotland are connected to the rest of the UK. Having been a part of the UK provided Scotland with one of the oldest, powerful, and most stable currencies in the world, backed up by 31 million taxpayers. As a part of the UK, Scotland's finances became stronger following low taxes and rise in public spending.
Nicola Sturgeon plans second Scottish Independence referendum
Following UK's exit from the European Union, Nicola Sturgeon announced to reconsider results of the first Scottish referendum. Nicola Sturgeon said, ''It is 'democratically unacceptable' that Scotland will be taken out of the EU against its will and a second independence referendum is 'highly likely'." Nearly 62% people in Scotland voted to remain in EU, in a referendum held on June 24 2016.
Impact of Brexit
A possible fallout from Brexit is expected to increase the stakes for Scottish independence. Post second referendum, if it occurs, an independent Scotland would probably take the reverse route to join the Schengen Area, EU's passport-free travel zone.
Scotland threatens to veto Brexit
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon sparked a fury by threatening the UK to veto Brexit. She has announced that the members of the Scottish Parliament might use their "legislative consent" powers to block the UK's exit from the European Union. The threat might elevate the prospect of a long legal battle, over enacting results of last week's referendum where Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain.
EU rules out Scotland-EU deal
French President Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected Nicola Sturgeon's proposal for a separate Scotland-EU deal and said it would have to leave with the rest of the UK. Mariano Rajoy added that the Scottish government had "no competence" to negotiate with EU. Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission added that they could not interfere with the UK's internal politics.