London: As Scotland faces the prospect of leaving the EU, its first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said on Sunday that the Scottish parliament could move to veto the UK’s exit from the EU, in an interview with the BBC.
Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh, Scotland
Sturgeon, determined to keep Scotland inside the EU, said on BBC that she would consider advising the Scottish Parliament not to give "legislative consent" to a British exit.
No shelter, soon: A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a Union flag themed umbrella near the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in London. Pics/AFP
Asked if Holyrood could veto a Brexit she told the BBC: "Of course. If the Scottish Parliament is judging this on the basis of what is best for Scotland we are not going to vote for something that is not in Scotland’s interests. Of course that is going to be on the table."
Sturgeon further said the Britain that Scotland voted to stay a part of in a 2014 referendum "does not exist any more". "The UK that Scotland voted to stay in 2014 does not exist any more," Sturgeon told the BBC after saying a second independence referendum was now "highly likely". "This is not going to be a re-run of the 2014 referendum. The context has changed dramatically," she said.
Scots voted by 55 per cent to 45 per cent to stay in the United Kingdom in the 2014 vote. But a Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times found 52 per cent of respondents now wanted to break with the rest of Britain, while 48 per cent were opposed.
This comes after Thursday’s historic EU referendum in which Britain as a whole voted to leave — but 62 per cent of Scots voted to stay. Within hours of that result, Sturgeon said that a new independence referendum to be held within two years was "highly likely".
"What’s going to happen with the UK is that there are going to be deeply damaging and painful consequences... I want to try and protect Scotland from that," Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, said yesterday.
Asked what Scotland’s negotiating position with Brussels could be and whether it would have to join as a new member state, Sturgeon said: "This would not be a decision about Scotland leaving... this would actually be a decision about Scotland staying."
"Our argument is that we don’t want to leave. It’s not that we want to leave and get back in," she said. She also cautioned any future British prime minister against vetoing a new Scottish independence vote. "I think people in Scotland would find that completely unacceptable," she said.
The approximate number of people, who have signed a petition calling on the British Parliament to hold a new referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU
In the wake of UK’s Brexit vote, Labour Party on Saturday called for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to step down. This happened after the party faced a revolt after Corbyn sacked his foreign secretary and three other senior members of the shadow cabinet resigned as deep divisions emerged in the party over the leader’s handling of the EU referendum.
No formal letter needed: EU
The Government does not need to send a formal letter to European Union leaders in order to begin UK’s withdrawal from the bloc, EU officials have said. The European Parliament chief called today for PM David Cameron to begin formal proceedings to leave the EU at a summit this week.