Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has clearly signalled that Scotland could hold another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in the near future.
Scotland voted decisively in favour of remaining in the EU, but Britain as a whole voted to leave.
“Scotland sees its future as part of the EU,” Sturgeon said in a statement reported by The BBC. “Scotland clearly and decisively voted to remain part of the European Union, 62% to 38%.”
By contrast, across the whole of the UK, the Leave campaign won by 52% to 48%.
Former SNP leader Alex Salmond earlier told the BBC: “If there was a Leave vote in England, dragging us out the EU, I’m quite certain Nicola Sturgeon would implement the SNP manifesto.”
In the Scottish Parliament elections in May, the SNP’s manifesto proposed another independence referendum if there was a “significant and material” change — like a British exit from the EU.
How soon could Scotland leave the UK?
Salmond told ITV News that another vote on Scottish independence could be held sometime in the next two years.
“From when that starting gun is fired, it’s a two-year period,” Mr Salmond said.
“So whatever that period is — two years, two-and-a-half years — that would have to be the timescale of the next referendum because what you would want to do is remain in the European Union while the rest of the UK moved out,” he added.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who was a prominent campaigner for Scotland to remain a part of the UK in 2014, also conceded that Scotland is likely to demand another referendum.
Scotland will seek independence now. Cameron's legacy will be breaking up two unions. Neither needed to happen. https://t.co/4MDj7pndcq
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 24, 2016
Scotland will seek independence now. Cameron’s legacy will be breaking up two unions. Neither needed to happen. https://t.co/4MDj7pndcq
What about Northern Ireland?
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein national chairman Declan Kearney called for a vote on Irish unity after Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU by 56% to 44%.
Kearney said that English voters had “dragged Northern Ireland out of the EU,” according to The Telegraph.
“English votes have overturned the democratic will of Northern Ireland. This was a cross-community vote in favour of remaining in the EU. This British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland,” he added.
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