(Newswire.net — April 3, 2017) — A letter holding a formal request of Scotland for the second referendum on independence has arrived to Downing Street.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May that the people of Scotland are ready to decide whether they want to remain in the UK or the EU. On Friday morning, she signed the Section 30 letter requesting the transfer of powers to Holyrood.
The Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 enables a referendum in Scotland if there is a majority consensus in the Scottish Parliament.
May’s office has already said such a request would be denied, which may result in a huge crisis in the UK, especially because Ireland is interested to remain in the European Union and Spain can veto whether Brexit negotiations are to be applied to Gibraltar.
First Minister of Scotland, however, reminded British PM May that “the Scottish Parliament has now determined by a clear majority that there should be an independence referendum.”
“The purpose of such a referendum is to give people in Scotland the choice of following the UK out of the EU and single market on the terms you negotiate, or becoming an independent country, able to chart our own course and build a genuine partnership of equals with the other nations of the UK,” Sturgeon wrote.
Another referendum on Scotland independence would be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, if there are no major obstructions or inconveniences.
PM May’s spokesperson slammed the Scottish request saying now is not the time for the second referendum, indicating that the proposal will not be considered.
“We have been joined together as one country for more than 300 years. We’ve worked together, we’ve prospered together, we’ve fought wars together, and we have a bright future. At this crucial time we should be working together, not pulling apart,” the spokesperson said.
According to the EU’s draft guidelines for the UK’s exit negotiations, Brexit will not be automatically applied to Gibraltar, the territory over which Spain has exerted pressure to regain sovereignty for decades.
The British version of Brexit is just exiting the European Union, however, Brussels is adamant that Brexit is like a divorce that involves precisely dividing the two parts that were one for decades.
In the case of Gibraltar, it means that issues relating to the territory will have to be solved bilaterally between Britain and Spain.
Gibraltar, situated on Spain’s southern tip, remains a major source of diplomatic tension. Last June, its residents voted 96 percent in favor of remaining within the EU.