Scottish Parliament votes for second referendum on Scottish independence
The Scottish Parliament has voted to urge the UK Government to begin negotiations on holding a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The Scottish Government motion, backed with 64 MSPs in support and 54 opposed, expressed support for “a referendum taking place on a date and in a manner determined by the Scottish Parliament, which the Scottish Government proposes should take place in 2020”.
Nicola Sturgeon requested a section 30 order from the UK government before Christmas, as part of Scottish Government plans to hold a referendum before the end of this year, but was rebuffed by Boris Johnson, with the Prime Minister saying he would "not agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums".
The SNP argues that the material change in circumstances brought by Brexit justifies a referendum on Scotland leaving the UK.
The First Minister is scheduled to set out the "next steps" in the "campaign to secure Scotland's future as an independent nation" on Friday.
But responding to the vote, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the UK Government’s position on granting the powers to hold a second referendum “remains the same".
He told BBC Scotland: "A generation, as was in their independence white paper, has not passed. We're leaving the EU on Friday and we need to focus on the common fisheries policy, our coastal communities, our trade deals, all the good things we can do rather than another year of referendums, rancour and division."
Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Relations Michael Russell said: “Today we have seen a clear endorsement of the mandate the people have given us: to put the question of Scotland’s future back to them in a new public vote.
“A referendum should now be held so that the people can decide if Scotland should be an independent country.
“We propose that referendum, on a date and in a manner determined by the Scottish Parliament, should take place this year.”