3.2.17

Scottish Parliament Will Hold Own Brexit Vote

Scotland’s devolved government released a statement on Thursday saying that it would hold its own vote on whether to trigger the Article 50 exit process from the European Union. This vote will be held next Tuesday and will decide whether Scotland’s government agrees with the “Brexit” legislation currently scheduled to come to a vote in the UK parliament by the end of March. The Scottish vote will not have any binding effect on the UK’s exit from the EU, but it will give Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU during the Brexit referendum, a chance to express its views.
The Cipher Take: The Scottish government clearly believes that this vote will send a clear signal to London that Edinburgh will not go along with the “clean” divorce from the EU that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is proposing. Even if the devolved assembly’s vote is not binding upon Brexit legislation, it will hint at the possible repercussions of Brexit in Scotland. Scots voted down a referendum on independence from the UK in 2014 by a relatively small margin, and the UK’s continued membership in the EU played a key role in driving the vote’s results. Now that London is going ahead with “hard Brexit” which will take Britain out of the common market, Scottish First Minister and her ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) clearly believe the stage is set for a new referendum on Scottish independence. Tuesday’s vote may prove them right.

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