Scotland initiates second bid for independent statehood

Representative Image-Scottish Flag

Scotland’s pro-independence government on Wednesday tabled legislation that would pave the way for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

The Referendums (Scotland) Bill was launched by Constitutional Relations Secretary, Mike Russell, of the governing Scottish National Party (SNP), at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Al Jazeera reported.

The new legislation, which does not suggest a date for any poll, comes just days after the SNP’s celebrated sweeping victory in recently held European Parliament elections.

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Results showed that the SNP party topped the polls in 30 out of 32 Scottish council areas and gained three out of six seats allocated to Scotland as part of the United Kingdom’s (UK) designated 73 members for the European Parliament.

Scottish Prime Minister and SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, hailed the bill as a chance for “Scotland … to choose a better future than the one being offered by [London] Westminster”, while her critics declared their opposition to the proposal.

Adam Tomkins, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party constitution spokesman, told Al Jazeera that it would “come as no surprise to anybody in Scotland that Nicola Sturgeon has decided to use the EU elections to manufacture the case for a second independence referendum”.

“No matter what people in Scotland say or do, the SNP’s answer is always the same – to take us out of the UK,” he added.

The SNP’s latest efforts to once again take up the case of Scottish statehood come five years after the historic 2014 independence referendum, in which voters against the independence won by 55 to 45 per cent.

Earlier this week, Sturgeon said the SNP’s win in the European Parliament elections is a clear signal to the UK that the country has once again rejected the Brexit deal.

Al Jazeera quoted the leader as saying that England may have voted to leave the EU, “but we didn’t”.

(With ANI inputs)

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