Nicola Sturgeon has said she will seek to enter into “immediate discussions” with Brussels to “protect Scotland’s place in the EU”. Scotland’s First Minister said she will establish an advisory panel with experts to advise her on legal, financial and diplomatic matters as she seeks to continue Scotland’s membership following the Brexit vote. Scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain in the EU in Thursday’s referendum, sharply contrasting with Britain’s overall 52%-48% vote to leave. Speaking outside her official residence in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said her cabinet had agreed to begin work on legislation that would allow for the option of a second independence referendum.
To ensure that that option is a deliverable one within the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place.
Following a meeting with her cabinet, Ms Sturgeon said: “We are determined to act decisively but in a way that builds unity across Scotland about the way forward.” The First Minister added: “Cabinet agreed that we will seek to enter into immediate discussions with the EU institutions and other EU member states to explore all possible options to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.” Scottish independence from the UK was rejected by 55 to 45% in 2014. Ms Sturgeon will need permission from Westminster to hold a referendum and there must be public confidence in the current economic opportunity of an independent Scotland.
We do not address the challenges of leaving the European Union by leaving our own Union of nations, our biggest market and our closest friends.
Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader