Scotland had already held a referendum on independence in 2014, but by that time 55 per cent of respondents were still voting to keep Scotland away from the United Kingdom.
However, announcing another referendum is again on the agenda, particularly since the British referendum on EU membership six years ago, with a narrow national average of 51.89% abstaining and 62% of Scots voting for more EU membership. .
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Independence Party (SNP) in Scotland, has said several times that a new independence referendum has become necessary as a result of an EU referendum, like Scotland.
Sturgeon launched another referendum campaign on Edinburgh independence at a press conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
He said that if Scottish voters had known in 2014 the direction the UK would take in subsequent years, a majority would have voted for independence in a referendum at that time.
The Scottish prime minister responded with a resounding yes to the question of whether he expected another independence referendum by the end of 2023.
However, he also stressed that the referendum can only be prepared and conducted within a legal and democratic framework.
He added that accordingly he was prepared to negotiate with British Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the terms of a new Scottish independence referendum.
However, Johnson repeatedly refused to call for another referendum, arguing that according to the personal promises of Nicola Sturgeon and his predecessor, former Scottish Prime Minister Alex Salmond, the result of the 2014 referendum would last a generation.
But Nicola Sturgeon said at Tuesday’s launch campaign that Scottish voters gave a clear mandate to re-hold the independence referendum when they voted majority in favor of independence in the Scottish parliamentary elections last May.
The SNP and the Green Party together have 72 members of the 129-member Scottish legislature, and the Greens have clearly pledged to hold another independence referendum until the end of the current parliamentary term.
The Scottish government also published a study on Tuesday outlining the reasons for independence. The arguments put forward include that independent countries with capabilities similar to Scotland are “richer, and in some cases richer” than the United Kingdom, have lower income inequality, lower poverty rates, and higher values of economic productivity and business investment.
The Scottish government plans to publish more similar studies in the coming weeks.
(Featured photo: Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a news conference on the planned second referendum on Scottish independence at Butt House in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 14, 2022. Photo: Russell Cheney/Poole/AFP)
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