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Scotland hopes to rejoin the EU as an independent nation

Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: Belga.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday that her country was hoping to gain its independence and could “rejoin” the European Union since the British withdrawal from the EU was done against the will of the people of Scotland, most of whom opposed Brexit at the 2016 referendum.

“We are now faced with a hard Brexit against our will, at the worst possible time in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession,”  Sturgeon said in a statement posted on the website of her pro-independence Scottish National Party, SNP, two days after London withdrew from the European common market and customs union.

Sturgeon reiterated her determination to organise a new referendum on independence for Scotland, after the 2014 one, which her camp lost after 55% of Scottish voters said “no” to independence.

The decision to hold such a referendum falls to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has categorically refused to do so. However, a resounding SNP win at local government elections scheduled for May next would add pressure on London to accept a new vote.

According to the latest poll conducted in mid-December by Savanta ComRes Institute for The Scotsman newspaper, an unprecedented 58% of Scotsmen and women now favour a break with the United Kingdom.

While 51.9% of Britons voted in favour of Brexit in 2016, 62% of Scottish voters were against the withdrawal from the European Union.

“As an independent member of the European Union, Scotland would be a partner and a bridge-builder — not just a bridge to building a stronger economy and fairer society, but a bridge to aid understanding between the EU and UK,” Sturgeon said.

The Brussels Times