Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Wednesday that the Scottish government will start preparing for an independence referendum before May 2021.
The Scottish National Party leader told the Scottish parliament that: “A choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation should be offered.
“This chaos is not an inevitable consequence of the vote to leave the EU.
“It is down to a toxic combination of dishonesty and incompetence.”
She said that she wants the referendum to take place even if Westminster opposes it.
Theresa May, the UK prime minister, remains against Scottish independence, as does opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Theresa May’s spokesman said: “As we have been repeatedly clear, Scotland has already had an independence referendum in 2014 and voted decisively to remain in the United Kingdom.
“This should be respected. Our position hasn’t changed.”
Sturgeon said that a bill would be drafted by the end of 2019, which at this stage would not need UK government approval.
There would, however, need to be approval from Westminster further down the line.
The Scottish electorate were the most vigorous opponents of Brexit in the referendum.
Two years before the Brexit referendum, Scotland voted narrowly to remain part of the UK.
One of the biggest reasons for the result was fears that Scotland would have to exit the EU if independent.
With the threat of Brexit, coupled with frustration that Westminster does not represent their interests, many people think a second independence referendum will have a different result.
The first minister also told the Scottish parliament that the government is scaling back the contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit.
She condemned the UK government for allowing the precarious situation to take place in the first place.
“The Westminster system of government simply does not serve Scotland’s interests”
- Nicola Sturgeon