A new poll shows that a wide majority of Scottish people reject independence from the United Kingdom, despite the government revealing plans for a second independence referendum.
The survey, conducted by Britain’s The Times newspaper, indicated on Tuesday that 57 percent of Scottish voters had rejected independence, enjoying a 14-point gap with those in favor of remaining in the UK.
The opinion poll comes a day after the Scottish National Party (SNP) announced it would ask permission for a second referendum to split from Britain, arguing that London had failed to compromise with Edinburgh on Brexit.
Scottish First Minister and leader of SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, told a press conference that the Scottish people voted 62 percent to 38 percent in the June referendum to remain in the European Union (EU), and therefore they must be offered a choice.
Sturgeon pointed out that the interest of Scotland could not be ignored at any time and that a referendum would be held late in 2018 or early in 2019.
“So next week I will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to open discussions with the UK government on the details of a Section 30 order - the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum,” the SNP leader said. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (File photo)
The government in Edinburgh is hoping that with independence from the UK, Scotland could maintain its close ties with the bloc.
Reacting to the Monday announcement, London said Edinburgh’s move to seek independence at such a time would cause huge economic uncertainly.
The UK Parliament has passed the EU Withdrawal Bill, allowing Prime Minister Theresa May to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Article 50 would initiate two years of talks between London and the 28-nation bloc.
In a referendum held on June 23, nearly 52 percent of British voters, amounting to more than 17 million citizens, opted to leave the EU, a decision that sent shock waves throughout the world. The majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, however, voted to stay in the bloc.