03:38 GMT04 March 2021
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    Britain and EU After Brexit (118)

    A referendum held before Brexit would give the Scottish people an opportunity to remain in the EU single market before negotiations on the matter are finalized, according to the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — If the referendum on Scottish independence is postponed until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the move would be considered a "democratic outrage," deputy leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and UK parliament member Angus Robertson said Friday.

    "If the prime minister refuses to engage on the terms of the referendum before Brexit takes place, than she is effectively trying to block the people of Scotland having a choice over their future. That would be a democratic outrage," Robertson said, as aired by the Sky News TV channel.

    He added that ignoring Scotland's interests now would result in them being ignored indefinitely. According to Robertson, a referendum held before Brexit would guarantee the Scottish people an opportunity to remain in the EU single market before negotiations on the matter are finalized.

    On Monday, following the UK parliament's decision to allow the British government to invoke Article 50 and initiate talks on post-Brexit ties with the European Union, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she would seek the authority to hold another independence referendum, which should take place between fall 2018 and spring 2019 to accommodate for Brexit negotiations.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that people should first learn the results of the Brexit talks before asking for another referendum, stressing that it was not the right time for such a vote to be held.

    The Scottish parliament will reportedly decide as early as next week on whether Sturgeon should be given authority to ask the UK parliament for the power to hold a second referendum.

    In 2014, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, however, the 2016 Brexit vote showed that Scotland differed from England on the European Union membership, as it backed remaining in the bloc by 62 percent against 38 percent.

    Britain and EU After Brexit (118)


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