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6/24/16

Sctland seeks independence: Nicola Sturgeon: second Scottish independence poll highly likely - by Severin Carrell Libby Brooksand

Scotland is on the brink of staging a fresh referendum on independence after Nicola Sturgeon requested talks with the EU on separate membership after the UK’s vote to leave.

The first minister said she believed a second referendum on independence was highly likely after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU, but was unable to prevent the leave campaign winning by 52% to 48% across the UK as a whole.

Sturgeon said that was a “democratic outrage” and constituted the clear, material change in Scotland’s circumstances referred to in the Scottish National party’s carefully worded manifesto commitment in May to hold a second independence vote if needed.

“It is a significant material change in circumstances. It’s a statement of the obvious that the option of a second independence referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table,” she said.

Sturgeon announced that she was instructing Scottish government officials to draft fresh referendum legislation for Holyrood, only two years after her party lost the first independence vote in 2014, to ensure it could be held quickly if enough Scottish voters backed it.

UK government sources said David Cameron, who quit as prime minister after the referendum defeat, was anxious that his successor make sure the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland government were closely involved in the UK’s Brexit negotiations to avoid increasing Scottish grievances and fuelling the case for independence.

Sturgeon’s cabinet will meet in emergency session on Saturday morning at her official residence Bute House, and is expected to agree plans to put forward referendum legislation in September’s programme for government.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon: second Scottish independence poll highly likely | Politics | The Guardian

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