Brexit could raise 'clamor' for Scotland independence vote: Sturgeon

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 02, 2015 4:07 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - If Britain's European Union membership referendum sees Scotland taken out of the bloc against its will, the voter backlash could result in a "clamor" for another independence vote, Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon will say on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's ties with the EU ahead of a membership referendum by the end of 2017.

Scotland First Minister Sturgeon's Scottish National Party has enjoyed a surge in popularity since it led a failed bid for independence last year, winning all but three of Scotland's 59 parliamentary seats in a general election last month.

She has called for the EU vote to require a "double majority" whereby England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would individually have to back exit for it to go ahead.

"If Scotland were to be taken out of Europe, despite voting as a nation to have remained, it would provoke a strong backlash among ordinary voters in Scotland," Sturgeon will say in a speech in Brussels, according to advance extracts released by her office.

"I believe the groundswell of anger among ordinary people in Scotland in these circumstances could produce a clamor for another independence referendum which may well be unstoppable."

Sturgeon will also say that while she agrees with Cameron that the EU needs reform, those can be made without the changes to the EU treaties the prime minister has said will be required.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Estelle Shirbon)