Scottish leader calls for new independence vote next year

Legal Issues

Scotland’s leader told lawmakers in Edinburgh Tuesday that she plans to hold a fresh referendum on Scotland’s independence on Oct. 19, 2023 — even though U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson maintains it wasn’t the right time for such a vote.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the question to be asked will be the same as that in Scotland’s first independence vote in 2014: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The U.K.-wide government of Johnson opposes a new referendum and has repeatedly said the issue was settled in 2014, when 55% saying they wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland’s government requires a special order from Johnson to legally hold a referendum.

Sturgeon said she will ask the U.K. Supreme Court to rule on the Scottish government’s right to hold the vote if Johnson does not give the go-ahead.

Scotland’s most senior law official has referred the matter to the top court on Tuesday, she said.

She added that she would be writing to Johnson to inform him of her plans.

Sturgeon, who leads the Scottish National Party and the devolved government in Scotland, insists it’s time to revisit the matter of independence, not least because of Britain’s exit from the European Union — a move opposed by a majority of Scots.

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