News ID: 177313
Published: 0820 GMT February 08, 2017

No more Scottish independence bids: UK

No more Scottish independence bids: UK

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May says Scotland should not launch a new independence referendum, arguing that the Scottish people have already voiced their opposition to secede from the UK over Brexit.

"We don't believe that there should be a second referendum. There has been a referendum, it was clear, decisive, it was legal, and both sides agreed to abide by the results of that referendum," May's spokesman told journalists on Wednesday, referring to the country’s previous attempt to become independent.

Scotland held its first referendum in 2014, when over 55 percent of the people voted against independence.

However, talks of a new referendum gained momentum following a spat between Britain and Scotland over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

Although nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum in June last year, some 62 percent of the Scottish people voted against the decision.

This prompted Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to demand a “key role” for her devolved government in the EU talks, a request that was turned down by May.

The problem grew bigger when May announced her plans for a “clean exit” from the EU, where the UK would most likely lose its access to the EU single market against Scotland’s desire.

According to a new poll released on Wednesday by BMG, 49 percent of Scots support independence from the UK, while 51 percent oppose it.

A similar survey from last month returned roughly the same results as the 2014 referendum.

On Tuesday, Scotland’s devolved parliament rejected May’s plans to exit the EU in a symbolic, non-binding vote.

Scottish Greens lawmaker Ross Greer, who backs the independence bid, said Scots were certainly headed to a new referendum.

"This is one of the most significant votes in the history of the Scottish parliament since devolution," Sturgeon said in a statement.

“It’s a chance for our national parliament to reaffirm the voice of the people of Scotland and make clear that, as a nation, we oppose the catastrophic hard Brexit now being pursued,’’ the SNP leader noted.

The UK government plans to notify the EU of its intention to leave the bloc and trigger the two-year process by the end of March.

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