Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Friday launched a new consultation in favour of Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom, considering that her nation’s interests are threatened by Britain’s exit from the European Union. Speaking in Stirling, a site of great symbolic value ever since William Wallace, hero and symbol of Scottish independence, won a historic victory there against the English in 1297, she promised to find the means to protect as much as possible Scotland’s place in Europe as she launched a listening exercise aimed at reaching two million people out of a population of about 5.3 million.
The consultation, which continues until the end of November, involves public meetings and an online survey in which Scotland’s people are asked if they are prepared to support the organization of a referendum on independence to “protect Scotland’s interests in Europe”.
While 52% of Britons voted to leave the EU at the 23 June referendum, 62% of Scottish voters voted in favour of remaining in Europe. Since then, Ms. Sturgeon has continued to repeat that the option of a new referendum on independence, after that of September 2014, is on the table.
Sturgeon, who heads the pro-independence Scottish National Party, has said Brexit will force Scotland to leave not only the EU but also the single market, and that she is not prepared to wait and see what will happen without putting up a fight.