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Scotland delays independence vote - for now

June 27, 2017

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the focus should be on protecting Scotland's interests in EU negotiations. She vowed to restart the independence vote after divorce talks are complete.

Schottland, Erste Ministerin Nicola Sturgeon
Image: Reuters/A. Milligan

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that she was putting plans for a second independence referendum on ice.

Sturgeon said that the focus right now had to be on keeping Scotland in the EU's single market as Brexit negotiations get underway.

"We remain committed - strongly - to the principle of giving Scotland a choice at the end of this Brexit process," she told the parliament in Edinburgh.

In the meantime, however, said Sturgeon, "we will redouble our efforts and put our shoulder to the wheel in seeking to influence the Brexit talks in a way that protects Scotland's interests."

'No deal a good one'

Sturgeon also took the opportunity to criticize UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her government, saying that their approach would mean that "even a so-called good deal will be on terms substantially inferior to our current EU membership."

She also slammed May for going into the divorce talks with a "government with no clear mandate, precious little authority or credibility" following a disastrous snap election earlier in June.

More than 60 percent of Scottish voters supported remaining in the European Union during last year's referendum. An independence referendum in 2014 found that 55 percent of Scots preferred to stay in the United Kingdom, but that could change once the country leaves the EU.

es/rc (AP, dpa)