24, March 2017
Scotland’s parliament has announced that it will resume its independence referendum debate next week, Tuesday. The session was suspended following Wednesday’s deadly attack in the British Parliament at Westminster in London, an incident which left four people, including a policeman and the assailant, dead and more than a dozen people injured.
Scotland’s first minister has urged lawmakers to support her plans to leave Britain. Nicola Sturgeon says remaining in the UK would jeopardize Edinburgh’s stance in Europe. Also the parliament announced that it would increase security measures with immediate effect following the attack.
“While there is no intelligence to suggest there is a specific threat to Scotland, Edinburgh or Holyrood (the devolved parliament), we have increased security with immediate effect at the Scottish Parliament as a precaution,” parliament’s chief executive office said in a statement. “We are aware of a developing situation at Westminster this afternoon and are monitoring matters very closely,” it added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May last week said she will not allow another independence vote before the Brexit negotiations as she has vowed to fight for what she has called the “precious union” of the United Kingdom. London’s permission for a new Scottish referendum is required since any legally binding vote on United Kingdom constitutional matters has to be authorized by the UK parliament. The call for a second referendum in Scotland came after Britons decided to exit the EU in last year’s vote.
Sturgeon, who argues that Scotland’s vote to keep its EU membership in last June’s referendum has been ignored in May’s Brexit arrangements so far, is seeking authority for a second referendum from the Scottish parliament, to be held in late 2018 or early 2019.