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Scottish govt takes step toward another independence vote

AP  |  London 

Next week the Scottish government will publish a bill laying the groundwork for a new independence referendum, the country's leader announced today, the first step toward a new vote on whether should leave the United Kingdom.

Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014 by 55 per cent to 45 per cent, but Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union has reopened the question.

By a large majority, Scots backed remaining in the EU, but they were outnumbered by a majority in who wanted to leave.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her pro-independence Scottish National Party today that "the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week."

She said if leaves the EU's enormous single market of 500 million consumers, "will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path."

"A out of the single market - isolated, inward looking, hemorrhaging jobs, investment and opportunities - will not be the same country that voted to stay part of in 2014," Sturgeon said.

"If that's the insecure, unstable prospect we face as part of the UK, then no one will have the right to deny the chance to choose a better future."

A new Scottish referendum is not a certainty. Opinion polls suggest that there is not yet a majority in favor of independence.

Sturgeon said the British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government must give Scotland's Edinburgh-based Parliament "substantial additional powers," including power over immigration, if it wanted to keep in the

She told the British government that "in 2014, you told us was an equal partner in the Well, the moment has come to prove it.

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

First Published: Thu, October 13 2016. 21:28 IST