LONDON ( Associated Press) — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched her campaign Tuesday for a new referendum on Scottish independence, arguing that it would benefit the country economically to leave Britain.
Sturgeon, who heads the Scottish National Party and Scotland’s devolved government, said the time was right to reiterate the case for leaving.
“After everything that has happened – Brexit, COVID, Boris Johnson – it is time to present a different and better vision,” he said, presenting the first of a series of documents in which his government defends independence.
Scotland rejected independence in a referendum in 2014, in which 55% of the votes were in favor of remaining in the United Kingdom.
Sturgeon has said he wants to hold a new referendum before the end of 2023. That would require approval from the UK government, whose boss, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, maintains the 2014 vote settled the matter once and for all.
But Sturgeon argues that the landscape has changed since then, not least because Britain left the European Union, a move opposed by most Scots.
“Had we known in 2014 everything we know now about the path the UK would take, I have no doubt that Scotland would have voted yes,” Sturgeon added in an interview with the BBC. Her party and the Green Party have a majority in Parliament.
Johnson’s office again rejected the attempt.
“The position of the UK government is that this is not the time to talk about a new referendum,” Johnson’s spokesman said. “We trust that the people of Scotland want and expect their governments to focus on the global cost of living, the war in Europe and the issues that matter to families and communities.”
Scotland, like Wales and Northern Ireland, has its own Parliament and devolved government, with power to pass measures on public health, education and other matters, but the UK government in London controls defense and tax policy, among others. other powers.