"Now is not the time", British PM blocks second Scottish independence vote

18 March, 2017, 04:13 | Author: Essie Rivera

But the Scottish First Minister hit back, accusing Mrs May of "blocking Scotland's right to choose" and stressed that she was not seeking an immediate vote.

With the prospect of another vote on the table, speculation has turned to who could spearhead the campaign to stop Scots breaking away. Mr Brown will call for the Scottish Parliament to be handed control of £800 million in current European spending and get power to set Value-Added Tax rates, sign worldwide treaties, and control agriculture, fisheries, environmental regulation, employment and energy.

While further comment must await developments in the intervening fortnight ~ till the end of March ~ the government can not but be unnerved by Ms Sturgeon flagging the demand for a second vote of Scottish independence. after voters in Scotland had opposed Brexit on June 23 past year.

Officially, the Tories argue it would be "unfair" for the Scottish people to "vote blind" in a Scottish independence referendum, until it is clear what the outcome of Brexit will look like.

The British government's Scotland minister, David Mundell, said May's administration "will not be entering into discussions or negotiations" about a new referendum on Scottish independence. And during this week, I asked her three times when she would reach that agreement with the Scottish government before triggering Article 50. The only other way the reserved matters in the Scotland Act can be amended would be through an Act of the UK Parliament.

Pledging to defend the "precious, precious Union", Mrs May said she wanted the country to become more, not less, united - "one that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home".

Ms Sturgeon will also give the clearest indication so far that she is willing to delay the date of any referendum beyond spring 2019, when the terms of Brexit are expected to be finalised.

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The SNP spring conference kicked off in Aberdeen on Friday 17 March.

"Let there be no doubt - Scotland will have its referendum and the people of this country will have their choice". On the basis that the United Kingdom government could turn round and say exactly the same as they're saying now.

There has been speculation that the SNP could be preparing to alter its long-standing policy of European Union membership after independence, with some commentators suggesting the party could instead seek to.

"And now they apparently say that an independent Scotland would no longer seek to become a member of the European Union after a vote for separation".

The referendum would be the second after one in 2014, which saw a majority wanting to stay in the UK.

"There's a risk that this week may signal a beginning of a period in which May finds herself pushed here and there by groups of her own MPs, sensing that they can all get what they want", Travers told AFP.

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