Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon proposes to vote for independence again

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LONDON – Scotland’s nationalist lawmakers have fired the starting gun for independence and set up a potential clash with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, saying they plan to hold a new referendum on breaking out of Britain.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday outlined proposals for a “refreshed case for independence”, launching the first of several political papers arguing that the country’s delegated parliament should hold a vote – possibly without the consent of the British government, which London says is mandatory .

“Scotland under Westminster control is being held back,” Sturgeon said told journalists. “For Scotland, independence will put the levers that determine success in our own hands.”

The last Scottish independence referendum was held in 2014, when the majority of Scots (55 per cent) voted to stay in the UK

However, Sturgeon’s pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) and pro-independence allies won a majority in the Scottish Parliament in 2021. The SNP rules with the support of the Green Party.

“The people of Scotland elected a Scottish Parliament with a decisive majority for both independence and the right to vote. The Scottish Parliament therefore has an indisputable democratic mandate, and we intend to respect that, she told reporters in Edinburgh.

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Britain’s divorce from the EU has also been a game changer, Sturgeon claims. Scotland voted overwhelmingly against Brexit, 62 percent to 38 percent, during the referendum in 2016, which she said left Scotland at a “critical time”.

The SNP has previously said that they want to hold a new referendum on independence by the end of 2023.

Johnson is strongly opposed to another referendum and said on Tuesday that an independence decision was taken by the Scottish people just a few years ago, in recent memory. I think we should respect that. “

He said all governments across the UK should focus on the cost of living crisis and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and urged Sturgeon and other lawmakers to “focus on the things that people really want us to deal with.”

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Sturgeon acknowledged that Johnson’s government would likely challenge any effort by the Scottish Parliament to demand a binding referendum without a special order given by Westminster, but she said it would not deter lawmakers.

“Democracy within the rule of law is how differences in political or constitutional meaning should always be resolved,” she said. “If we are to maintain democracy here in Scotland, we must find a way forward. “However, we must do it legally.”

Such a vote could break the more than 300-year-old union between Scotland and England. Wales and Northern Ireland also have smaller, delegated parliaments in the United Kingdom. They promise issues such as education and health care, but rely on Westminster for most funding and other important functions, such as defense.

John Curtice, a leading Scottish pollster and policy professor at the University of Strathclyde, told the BBC on Tuesday that the polls were initially “divided in the middle”.

“If you take the last half dozen polls, they point on average to Yes 48, No 52,” he said on the question of independence. “Both sides need a campaign, because at the moment neither side of the argument can be sure of winning.”

Some Scottish newspapers accused Sturgeon on Wednesday of bowing to pressure to “appease her political base”, and opposition lawmakers there called her announcement a distraction.

“The same old speech from Nicola Sturgeon,” so the leader of the Scottish Labor Party, Anas Sarwar. “It is she who takes us back to the politics of the past, focusing on division and strife and trying to set Scots against Scots.”