Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would start preparatory work on splitting Scotland from the rest of Britain in order to keep the option of independence available following the June 23 vote to leave the European Union.
Although Britain voted to end its EU membership at the referendum, Scottish voters overwhelmingly backed remaining inside the bloc, reigniting the debate over Scotland’s future as a constituent nation of the United Kingdom.
Sturgeon renewed her position that a fresh independence bid, only two years after the country voted against it, should remain an option depending on the shape of Britain’s future ties with the bloc and how well they worked for Scotland..
“If we find that our interests can’t be protected in a UK context, independence must be one of those options that Scotland must have the right to consider,” Sturgeon said in a speech.
“That’s why we’ll take the preparatory steps to ensure that it’s an option open to the Scottish parliament if the Scottish parliament considers it necessary.”
She did say what form the preparatory work would take, but stressed that the unprecedented nature of Britain’s exit meant all options for future ties with the EU and the rest of the United Kingdom should be considered.