Scotland says it will hold a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020 as it faces the prospect of being withdrawn from the European Union (EU) against its will.
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon made this known in her keynote address to the SNP’s annual conference on Tuesday.
Mrs Sturgeon, who also heads Scotland’s devolved government, described Brexit as a disaster.
“We don’t know yet whether the UK will leave with a deal or without, but we do know that neither of these outcome is in Scotland’s interests.
“A no-deal Brexit is unthinkable, but a deal of the type, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is proposing would not be much better,” she said.
She noted that Brexit was happening against Scotland’s will, giving it a “cast-iron mandate for an independence referendum.”
“My call is that the referendum must happen in 2020, as support is rising for independence,” Mrs Sturgeon added.
She said in April that her aim was to hold a second referendum on independence within two years if Britain eventually left the EU.
In Scotland’s first independence referendum in 2014, 55 per cent voted to remain part of the UK.
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, 62 per cent of Scottish voters opted to remain in the EU, while across Britain 52 per cent voted for Brexit.