Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon announces plan for second independence referendum

Scotland news
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to launch a second independence referendum following the Brexit vote.

She said it is “democratically unacceptable” Scotland would be taken out of the EU “against its will” and says she will take “all possible steps and explore all options” to secure Scotland’s continuing place in the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon said the option of a second independence referendum “must be on the table and it is on the table” after Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU.

She said the result meant there had been a “significant and material change in the circumstances in which Scotland voted against independence” in 2014.

“As things stand, Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable,” she said.

Russell Gunson, director of thinktank IPPR Scotland, said: “This result risks huge damage to Scotland’s economy over the coming months and years.

“Tourism, financial services, whisky, our oil and gas sector – key economic sectors in Scotland and the UK – will now face a long period of damaging uncertainty that will undoubtedly cost jobs and livelihoods across Scotland.

“The focus now moves on to when negotiations will start, who will lead them, how Scotland’s interests will be represented and what terms the UK will seek from the EU for exit.

“With more than 60% of Scotland’s voters expressing their desire to remain within the EU, it is not clear that the UK could secure any terms for exiting the EU that would be enough for the people of Scotland.

“While IPPR Scotland has no position on Scotland’s constitutional future, this result therefore clearly reopens the independence debate.”