Scottish Leader Says New Independence Referendum ‘Highly Likely’

LONDON – Britain’s vote to exit the European Union makes another referendum on independence for pro-E.U. Scotland “highly likely,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Friday.

Sturgeon would not specify when another plebiscite on Scottish independence would take place, acknowledging that there were “many complex issues” to consider before calling a vote. But her statement underscored the turmoil into which the British political system has been plunged following the shock result in Thursday’s national referendum in favor of ditching the E.U.

Scotland, home to 5 million people, returned an overwhelming majority in support of Britain remaining a member of the 28-nation trading bloc. But as part of the United Kingdom, it is bound to go along with the overall “Leave” vote across the country.

That means the U.K. that Scots agreed to remain part of, when they rejected Scottish independence in a referendum two years ago, will not be the U.K. that was promised them: a country belonging to the European Union. In that referendum, in September 2014, Scottish independence was decisively defeated, which was supposed to settle the question for a generation.

But Sturgeon, whose ruling Scottish National Party supports Scottish independence, said that the radical change represented valid grounds for calling a new independence referendum.

“I have a duty to respond not just to the outcome across the U.K., but also and in particular to the democratic decisions taken by the people of Scotland,” Sturgeon said. “As things stand, Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the E.U. against our will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable.”

She said her Cabinet would meet Saturday to discuss its next steps.

More Biz

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

  • Joe Dante Gremlins

    Hollywood Execs Seek Licensing Deals at the New York Toy Fair

    On Feb. 16 more than 30,000 studio executives, buyers and toy company reps will gather in Manhattan for the annual Toy Fair New York, all vying for market share and trying to snag the latest hot trend in a fast-changing industry. Those working the film side of the business will focus much of their attention [...]

  • Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper A Star

    Universal Music Group Fuels 11.3% Rise in Vivendi's 2018 Revenues

    Vivendi’s revenues were up 11.3% to €13.93 billion ($15.7 billion) in 2018, powered by Universal Music Group, which delivered such hits as the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and Drake’s new album. UMG’s revenues climbed by 10% to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) compared to 2017. On top of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, the [...]

  • The Blacklist 100th Episode

    'The Blacklist' EP Sues for Wrongful Termination

    A former executive producer of the NBC show “The Blacklist” has filed suit against Sony, alleging he was fired after being wrongfully blamed for a workplace scuffle. Michael Watkins is a veteran TV director and cinematographer. He was an executive producer for several seasons of “The Blacklist,” the NBC crime show starring James Spader. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content