Sturgeon Wants Scots Independence Vote Early in Next Parliament

Scotland should hold a new independence referendum early in the next parliamentary session, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, as polls show consistent support for breaking away from the rest of the U.K.

Scotland is scheduled to hold elections to its devolved Edinburgh parliament in May, with recent polls predicting that Sturgeon’s SNP could win decisively. Even though Scotland voted against leaving the U.K. in the previous independence vote in 2014, Brexit, which Scots voted against, has led to increased support for separation.

Sturgeon Wants Scots Independence Vote Early in Next Parliament

“The referendum, for a whole variety of reasons, should be in the earlier part of the next parliament,” Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, said in a BBC interview on Thursday.

Sturgeon’s government is also perceived to have handled the coronavirus pandemic more competently than the U.K. government in Westminster, which has further bolstered support for separation.

“We’ve proven in this pandemic that we can do things really quickly in the face of crisis,” Sturgeon said. “For Scotland, the added element to that is, who decides? Is it a Westminster government that seems intent on taking us in the wrong direction with many priorities that are not shared by the people of Scotland -- or do they want our future to be guided by a Scottish government that is accountable to the Scottish people with their interests at heart?”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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