Scotland makes formal request to UK for independence referendum
Iran Press TV
Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:53PM
The Scottish government has formally asked UK Prime Minister Theresa May to allow it hold a second independence referendum following the beginning of Britain's exit process from the European Union.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the request in a letter she wrote to May on Friday, two days after London wrote to Brussels announcing the UK's formal withdrawal from the EU.
"I am... writing to begin early discussions between our governments to agree an Order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 that would enable a referendum to be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament," Sturgeon wrote in the letter.
"The people of Scotland must have the right to choose our own future -- in short, to exercise our right of self determination," wrote Sturgeon, the leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP).
Sturgeon tweeted a picture in the day, sitting on a couch at her official residence in Edinburgh and writing the Section 30 letter on a fresh referendum vote for her country.
Earlier this week, Scottish lawmakers had voted 69 to 59 in favor of seeking permission for a second referendum on independence to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
The Scottish first minister said her mandate for another vote is now "beyond question," and warned it would be "democratically indefensible and utterly unsustainable" to attempt to stand in the way.
"There appears to be no rational reason for you to stand in the way of the will of the Scottish parliament and I hope you will not do so," she wrote in the letter.
This is while May has repeatedly said the referendum request submitted by the government in Edinburgh will be turned down, insisting that now is not the time for another independence referendum and that all efforts should be on securing the best Brexit deal for the whole of Britain after Article 50 is triggered.
"Now is not the time to focus on a second independence referendum or to be looking at that second independence referendum, because [now] is the time when we need to pull together as a United Kingdom," Britain's prime minister recently said in an interview with BBC.
Scotland held its first referendum in 2014, when over 55 percent of the people voted against independence.
In June last year, nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum; however, some 62 percent of the Scottish people voted against the Brexit decision.
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