Scotland almost certainly headed to new independence vote, says Greens lawmaker

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 5:50 AM

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland is almost certainly headed towards a new independence referendum after the UK triggers the process to leave the European Union, said Ross Greer, a lawmaker for the Scottish Greens, who back the devolved nationalist government on independence.

"I'm 85 or 90 percent sure at least that we're heading towards another referendum," he told Reuters on Monday.

He said that was largely because the UK government had been unwilling to even consider what compromise options might be open for Scotland.

"That leaves us in a position of polar opposites: we can either be part of hard Brexit which tilts towards (President) Trump's America or we can be part of the European family as an independent state," he added.

Greer was a key figure in the 2014 independence campaign in which Scots voted to stick with the UK by a 10 point margin. His party's six seats in the Scottish parliament complete the 65 seats for a majority needed by Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish government.

Scots voted to keep their EU membership last June, but will be leaving the bloc because the UK as a whole voted to do so. Sturgeon's government argues that has created the conditions for a second independence referendum.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she plans to trigger the process of leaving the EU by the end of March.

(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Stephen Addison)