Scotland wants immediate talks with the European Union on protecting its place in the bloc, after Britain’s vote to leave the EU, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Saturday.
Speaking after an emergency meeting of her cabinet, Sturgeon said it had agreed to seek “immediate discussions with the EU institutions and other EU member states to explore all possible options to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.”
The UK as a whole voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU in Thursday’s historic referendum. But Scotland voted strongly for Britain to remain -- by 62 percent to 38 percent.
On Friday, Sturgeon said the results put a fresh referendum on Scottish independence “on the table,” adding that it was “highly likely” within two years.
She cited a clause in her Scottish National Party manifesto that there had been a “significant and material change in the circumstances” in which Scotland voted against independence in 2014, when 55 percent of Scots voted to stay in the UK.
On Saturday, Sturgeon reiterated her plans.
“As I said yesterday, a second independence referendum is clearly an option that requires to be on the table and is very much on the table,” she said.
“To ensure that that option is a deliverable one within the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place. Cabinet this morning formally agreed that work.”