Scotland's FM announces second independence referendum bill

Nicola Sturgeon links approval to Brexit terms

Nicola Sturgeon.
Nicola Sturgeon. Author: SNP
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced at the SNP's national conference that a consultation on a new independence referendum bill will be published next week. Sturgeon, however, linked the introduction of the bill to the Scottish Parliament in Scotland to the terms under which the UK leaves the European Union.

Sturgeon announced that, taking Brexit in mind, the Scottish government will ask to be devolved powers over international agreements, immigration and economy. The Scottish FM also said her government will submit a proposal to keep Scotland within the European common market, despite the UK leaving it.

If, however, proposals by the Scottish government were not met by the UK government, Sturgeon says she would then have the bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament for eventual approval.

The Scottish Parliament has a pro-independence absolute majority, made up of the SNP and the Greens.

If the first referendum scheme is to be repeated, a second independence vote should be bilaterally agreed by the UK and the Scottish governments.

The UK government has repeatedly shown opposition to a second referendum, arguing that only two years have passed since the first one.

Scottish pro-independence voices, however, recall that one of the unionist camp's main arguments not to leave the United Kingdom was the fact that Scotland would be sure to remain within the EU if it rejected independence. But in the end, the exact opposite has happened.

The pro-independence camp also remarks that Scotland very clearly (62%) voted to remain in the EU in the Brexit referendum.