'A material change of circumstances' - new independence referendum on the cards for Scotland

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Associated Press

Scotland's leader delivered a shock twist to Britain's EU exit drama today, announcing that she will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the EU against its will.

Scottish voters have rejected independence after a historic referendum.
Source: 1 NEWS

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she would move quickly to give voters a new chance to leave the United Kingdom because Scotland was being forced into a "hard Brexit" that it didn't vote for.

Britons decided in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU, but Scots voted by 62 to 38 per cent to remain.

Scotland must not be "taken down a path that we do not want to go down without a choice," Sturgeon said.

The move drew a quick rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May who said a second referendum would be hugely disruptive and is not justified because evidence shows most Scottish voters oppose a second referendum.

The proposed vote will coincide with the expected end of Britain's Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Source: Breakfast

She said Sturgeon's Scottish National Party is guilty of "tunnel vision."

Sturgeon spoke in Edinburgh as Britain's Parliament was on the verge of approving a Brexit bill that will allow the UK to start the formal withdrawal from the EU within days.

Sturgeon said she would ask the Scottish Parliament next week to start the process of calling a referendum, to be held between the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019.

The US President says the Senate has given him the authority to fund Syrian fighters.
Source: 1 NEWS

AN INFORMED CHOICE

She said by then, details of Britain's post-Brexit deal with the EU would be clear and Scottish voters would be able to make "an informed choice."

The British government must agree before a legally binding referendum can be held. It didn't say today whether it would do so, but said an independence ballot "would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time."

In a 2014 referendum, Scottish voters rejected independence by a margin of 55 percent to 45 per cent. But Sturgeon said that the UK's decision to leave the EU had brought about a "material change of circumstances."

Sturgeon said that she had sought compromise with May's government, but had been met with a "brick wall of intransigence."

Sturgeon has been seeking a deal that will allow Scotland to stay in the European single market and customs union.

But she said she has become convinced May is pursuing a "hard Brexit" that would leave Britain outside those arrangements, which many UK businesses see as crucial.

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