Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she’ll start the legal process of preparing for a second independence referendum, threatening to open another front as the U.K. government prepares to trigger Brexit.
Scotland, which voted to remain in the European Union, “stands at a hugely important crossroads” as a result of the U.K. decision to leave the bloc, Sturgeon said. The Scottish government repeatedly sought compromise with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, only to be “met with a brick wall of intransigence,” Sturgeon told reporters in Edinburgh.
As a result, Sturgeon said she will seek the authority of the Scottish Parliament to agree with the U.K. government on a so-called Section 30 Order granting “the ability of Scotland to legislate for an independence referendum.” The referendum would be held between the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019, she said on Monday.
Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March and Scotland’s semi-autonomous government has been pushing for what Sturgeon calls a compromise. She wants the nation of 5.4 million people to retain access to the EU’s single market regardless of whether the rest of the U.K. abandons it.
Faced the prospect of a so-called hard Brexit, “I’m doing what I think is right for the country and I’m planning to win,” she said.