The first Minister of Scotland, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, promised that by the end of the year she would demand that London grant Edinburgh the legal right to hold a referendum on the independence of the region. She stated this on Tuesday, speaking at a party congress in Aberdeen.
“Today I can confirm that before the end of the year I will request a transfer of power, which will leave no doubt about the legitimacy of the referendum,” Sturgeon said.
Earlier, the politician had already announced that by the end of the year she would send a request in accordance with section 30 of the Scottish Act of 1998. Under this section, the UK Parliament is required to grant the region the right to hold a referendum. This requires the consent of three state institutions: The Scottish Parliament, the lower and upper houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
“Do not hesitate, we are winning the struggle for independence. The hope for Scotland is to become an independent country. The time has come for us to be responsible for our future,” said Sturgeon.
The head of the SNP, however, emphasized that Scotland, the majority of whose citizens voted against leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum, would never agree to a “divorce” with the European Union. “Scotland will be the only territory in the UK to leave the EU against its will and not have a word about our future relations with Europe. We do not yet know whether Great Britain will leave the EU with or without a deal, but we know that none of these options are not in Scotland’s interests,” Sturgeon said.
A referendum on Scottish independence was held in 2014. 55% of its members supported maintaining an alliance between Edinburgh and London. However, the ruling SNP in the region took advantage of the results of the general British referendum on further EU membership, in which the population of Scotland, unlike the UK as a whole, did not support Brexit. This circumstance gave rise to advance the idea of a new referendum on independence, which Sturgeon was going to organize before the end of the powers of the current convocation of the Scottish Parliament in 2021.