Speed Reads

Second chances

Scotland to seek a second referendum on independence as Brexit process moves forward

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Monday that she will seek a second referendum on Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom. Sturgeon said she will ask the Scottish Parliament for permission next week, as Britain gears up for its departure from the European Union following the Brexit vote last year. Though Britain voted in favor of exiting the EU, Scotland voted 62 percent to 38 percent in favor of staying in the European alliance.

Sturgeon said Monday she had to "make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process" as to whether it wants to "follow the U.K. to a hard Brexit, or to become an independent country able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the U.K. and our own relationship with Europe." Sturgeon has been trying to negotiate with British Prime Minister Theresa May, but she said the U.K. government has not "moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement."

Scottish voters decided against leaving the U.K. in a 2014 referendum, but Sturgeon noted that since then there's been "a material change of circumstances." However, The Associated Press noted polls "do not indicate [independence] has majority backing," nor is it clear whether May will grant Scotland permission for a vote.

Sturgeon is hoping the vote could take place in fall 2018 or spring 2019, before Brexit is complete.