Scottish leader to float bill on second independence referendum

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday said she plans to publish a draft bill on a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom next week, promising to preserve a "progressive, outward-looking, internationalist Scotland."

"I am determined that Scotland will have the ability to reconsider the question of independence - and to do so before the UK leaves the EU - if that is necessary to protect our country's interests," Sturgeon told a conference of the Scottish National Party.

"So I can confirm today that the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week," she said.

More than 60 per cent of Scottish voters opted to stay in the EU in the Brexit referendum, while 52 per cent across Britain voted to leave.

"The morning after the EU referendum, I said that I'd be guided at all times by a simple, clear test: What is best for the people of Scotland?" Sturgeon said in her keynote speech.

She said Scotland could be faced with a choice between "an inward-looking, insular, Brexit Britain, governed by a right-wing Tory (Conservative) party" and "a progressive, outward-looking, internationalist Scotland, able to chart our own course and build our own security and prosperity."

A majority of 55 per cent of Scottish voters rejected independence in a referendum in 2014.

During talks with Sturgeon in July, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to rule out allowing a second referendum.

Last update: Thu, 13/10/2016 - 13:47

More from Europe

Italy's Renzi concedes referendum defeat, announces resignation

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has conceded defeat on a referendum battle to approve constitutional reforms and...

After Renzi - who could be Italy's next prime minister?

Italian President Sergio Mattarella is due to appoint a new prime minister after Matteo Renzi said he would resign...

Renzi set for crushing referendum defeat, under pressure to resign

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi looked likely Sunday to make good on a promise to resign after early data...

Italian voters reject Renzi's constitutional reforms, exit polls show

Italians have rejected reforms proposed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, exit polls from a referendum show.

EU leaders relieved as Austrian far-right candidate loses presidency

Pro-European and left-leaning politician Alexander Van der Bellen soundly defeated his far-right rival for Austria's...