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Nicola Sturgeon challenges May with second independence referendum for Scotland

ANI  |  London [UK] 

First Minister of Nicola Sturgeon is to publish a draft bill calling for a second Scottish independence referendum next week in a direct challenge to British Prime Minister Theresa May's hardline stance on leaving the European Union (EU).

Sturgeon told the Scottish National party conference in Glasgow that she had a powerful political mandate to defend Scotland's vote in favour of remaining in the EU in June's referendum, reports the Guardian.

But the government's policies on immigration and remaining within the EU single market made it clear the Tory party had now been taken over by its "rampant" and xenophobic right wing.

Sturgeon told May: "Hear this, if you think for one single second that I'm not serious about doing what it takes to protect Scotland's interests, then think again."

She said: "I am determined that will have the ability to reconsider the question of independence - and to do so before the leaves the EU - if that is necessary to protect our country's interests."

Her official spokesman said that this was designed to give the Scottish government a full range of options: its immediate goal was to get the strongest powers possible for Scottish Parliament in the Brexit deal.

He said, "We need the Government to give much needed clarity on what they have in mind before we can be reasonably expected to come up with a package for "

Speeding up the referendum bill process opens up a deepening and increasingly significant political divide between the Scottish and Governments, showing Sturgeon's increasing confidence that the Tories' shift to a harder line on Brexit has strengthened her hand.

Sturgeon faces clear short-term obstacles to staging a second vote on leaving the Scottish voters are still not convinced of the case for a fast second referendum and the Scottish Parliament will require Westminster's legal authority to stage a referendum.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 13 2016. 18:14 IST