Brexit: Scottish leader seeks UK split as EU divorce looms

  • Theresa May keen to trigger Article 50;
  • UK major move might be made Tuesday;
  • Scottish Minister, Sturgeon, announces new independence referendum plan;

The Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said she would begin taking steps to split from the United Kingdom, UK as the British government is bent on forging ahead to extract itself from the European Union.

The United Kingdom

Sturgeon noted that the UK was going for a “bad deal” on Brexit, and planned to seek the legal processes next week to hold a new independence referendum before Britain bows out of the EU.

Sturgeons decision to call for a vote was pursuant to Theresa May’s plan to invoke Article 50, that would set the UK on the path to split from the EU after two years.

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Speculations has it that May might commence her process on Tuesday if legislation passes its final challenges in the UK parliament Monday. However, Sturgeon’s announcement on Monday and the upcoming Dutch elections on Wednesday could drawback the timetable.

Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom

Scotland not fully unanimous?

In her response in Edinburgh, Sturgeon noted that she would seek Scottish parliament’s permission next week to grant her the authority to call a new independence referendum.

The Scottish Minister noted that the British PM had failed to dialogue with her clamor for Scotland to remain in the European single market after Brexit, saying Scotland risked being taken out of the EU against its wish.

During the Brexit referendum, Scotland raised the UK trend as it voted 62% to 38% to remain in the European Union. Hence, Sturgeon said it depends on Scots to decide whether they followed other Britons or make their own path.

Scottland Referendum

“I am ensuring that Scotland’s future … will be decided by the people of Scotland,” she told reporters at Bute House, the official residence of the Scottish first minister.

“It will be Scotland’s choice and I trust the people of Scotland to make that choice.”

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish Minister actually wanted the referendum to hold between Q4 2018 and Q1 of 2019 prior to the completion of Brexit negotiations. The period would afford her ample time make salient reasons why Scotland should remain in the EU even as the rest of UK left.

While Scotland maintained that the UK government must agree to a new Scottish referendum, Downing Street noted that Sturgeon’s announcement was “divisive” and that May would seek a Brexit deal in the interests of the whole UK.

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The UK’s statement didn’t mention whether it would refuse a new independence referendum. During Scotland’s 2014 referendum, Scots voted 55% to 45% to remain in the UK. The UK then upheld there weren’t any basis in Scotland for a re-run.

Although it is potentially tough to deny Scotland another permission for a referendum, the UK might argue about time factor, in order to sidestep tussle over Scottish independence while the UK continues to clear its exit path out of the EU.

The Brexit bill

The Scottish announcement to leave the UK makes the government’s plan to formerly withdraw from the EU unenthusiastic as it sets to begin process this week.

During Monday sessions, both houses of the UK parliament voted on the EU Withdrawal Bill granting May the authority to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which governs the relationships amongst EU member states.

The action would afford the UK a two-year period to create a workable template between other 27 EU governments as the UK departs.

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The Government ministers have urged the House of Lords not to hinder the passage of the bill if as anticipated the MPs vote to remove amendments later on Monday afternoon.

Just as the UK government is striving to avoid a clash with Dutch elections holding Wednesday, delay in the parliamentary process might see the process abandoned later in the month.

Pressured on Theresa May

Prime Minister, May, has witness intense pressure from Parliament recently as the Brexit talks drew closer.

Over the Weekend, lawmakers published a report that warned that the government’s failure to prepare for a situation whereby no deal is sealed with the EU over Brexit would be a “serious dereliction of duty.”

British Prime Minister, Theresa May

Britain’s House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee noted that the UK should ready for the “real prospect” that the two-year negotiation period might end in a potential deadlock.

“The possibility of ‘no deal’ is real enough to require the government to plan how to deal with it,” head of the committee Crispin Blunt said in the report.

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“But there is no evidence to indicate that this is receiving the consideration it deserves or that serious contingency planning is under way. The government has repeatedly said that it will walk away from a ‘bad’ final deal. That makes preparing for ‘no deal’ all the more essential,” he added.




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