Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday (March 16) that any attempt to block a second independence referendum would be undemocratic and evidence that Prime Minister Theresa May fears the verdict of the Scottish people.
After Sturgeon demanded a new independence referendum in late 2018 or early 2019, May said, “Now is not the time” for a second independence referendum.
Sturgeon, head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, told lawmakers in the devolved parliament that she has a duty to offer the people of Scotland a vote.
Sturgeon is by no means guaranteed to win a referendum just 2 1/2 years after Scots voted to remain in the union. But she has managed to put pressure on May just days before Britain is expected to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and start the formal divorce procedure.
May is a unionist and will fight hard to keep Britain together but her government will be stretched in trying to negotiate a good deal with the EU and keep vocal euroskeptics in her ruling Conservatives onboard.
Britain’s vote to leave the bloc last June deepened geographical and social divisions in the country, with Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to stay in the bloc while England and Wales backed an exit.
May said her government is committed to engaging with the whole of Britain over Brexit to negotiate a good deal for everyone.