• Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Scottish parliament to seek new independence vote

  • Published at 01:18 pm March 22nd, 2017
Scottish parliament to seek new independence vote

Scotland's devolved parliament will vote on Wednesday to give its government a mandate to seek a new independence referendum, despite Prime Minister Theresa May having said "now is not the time" for another vote as complex EU exit negotiations loom.

London's permission for a new Scottish referendum is needed because any legally binding vote on United Kingdom constitutional matters has to be authorised by the UK parliament.

May has not completely ruled out another Scottish independence vote but has vowed to fight for what she has called the "precious union" of the United Kingdom.

Dealing with Scotland simultaneously with Brexit could weaken her hand, according to a UK government source.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who argues that Scotland's vote to keep its EU membership in last June's referendum has been ignored in May's Brexit arrangements so far, is seeking authority for a second referendum from the Scottish parliament, to be held in late 2018 or early 2019.

"As a result of the Brexit vote we know that change is now inevitable - the question is what kind of change is right for Scotland and whether that change is made for us or by us," Sturgeon told parliament as she opened a two-day debate which ends with Wednesday's vote.

The current balance of power in the Scottish parliament means Sturgeon is almost certain to win its backing.

Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, opposition parties in Scotland's parliament, say Sturgeon is using Brexit as an excuse to raise the issue of independence again after Scots rejected secession by a 10 point margin in 2014.

By refusing to discuss Scotland, for now at least, May could force Sturgeon to consider riskier options.

The Scottish leader could hold a non-binding vote on independence to prove her support, or could even resign to force a snap election in hopes of securing a bigger mandate.

Scottish government officials decline to comment on such possibilities but both seem unlikely: either option could weaken her hand by highlighting the stalemate without resolving it.

Holding a non-binding referendum would be damaging, argues Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory at Edinburgh Law School, because it would not provide certainty in a highly divisive situation.

"The central importance of commonly agreed rules and a neutral referee in a situation of deep disagreement when the stakes are high cannot be under-estimated," he said.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail