An official letter signed by Nicola Sturgeon is on its way to London. The note is the official confirmation of Scotland’s First Minister, supported by the Scottish Parliament, to call for a second referendum for independence.
Earlier this week, the Scottish parliament voted with 69 to 59 in support of Scotland’s request to be granted a second plebiscite. The MPS decided that the best time frame to do that is the autumn of 2018 and spring 2019, the last months of the Brexit negotiations.
Busy with its own agenda around triggering Article 50 the British government has been quite vague in regards to Scotland’s request. “Now is not the time”, was Theresa May’s initial answer indicating that she doesn’t agree with the proposed time frame and is unlikely to agree with the referendum’s suggested terms. Their meeting on Monday basically confirmed that, although in British style, it left some doors open for future change.
And it looks like Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t given up. “I hope the prime minister changes her mind, and acknowledges that the people of Scotland are entitled to a choice, at a time and in a way that is right for Scotland,” she said prior to sending her official letter of request. Additionally, the First Minister expressed her firm intention to pursue a referendum, even if there won’t be a different answer from Downing Street: “However if she doesn’t, as I expect she won’t – at least not yet – I will come back to the Scottish Parliament in a few weeks’ time with an update on how we’re going to move forward to ensure the people of Scotland are able to choose our future, when we have the information we need both about Brexit and independence, and while there is still time to take a different path,” Mrs Sturgeon stated.
Meanwhile, Brexit is already on the move, and both Westminster and the Scottish parliament are facing an unprecedented amount of urgent work in order to cope with the legal changes that leaving the EU will require. Senior legal experts have already urged the Scottish parliament to start work, warning them that any postponing could have serious legal consequences, affecting the lives of thousands of people. According to Michael Clancy, director at the Law Society of Scotland “It’s going to be an unprecedented period of policy development and legal reform because we are deconstructing the supra-national legal order and then domesticating it into our national legal order.”