Scottish Parliament votes to hold independence referendum this year

Scottish Parliament votes to hold independence referendum this year

SCOTLAND COULD take to the polls to vote for independence as early as this year after Scottish MPs voted in favour of holding a second referendum.

The vote, which was held yesterday in the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, passed by a total of 64 in favour to 54 opposed.

The bill expresses the intention for "a referendum taking place on a date and in a manner determined by the Scottish Parliament, which the Scottish Government proposes should take place in 2020".

Scottish First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon is now expected to request a section 30 order from the UK government in order to put plans for the referendum in motion, however Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously and consistently rejected the idea of another referendum for Scottish independence.

According to Holyrood, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said the UK Government's position on allowing a second referendum "remains the same".

A previous independence referendum, held in 2014, resulted in the Scottish people deciding to remain a part of the UK by a total of 55.3% to 44.7%.

That referendum was billed as a "once in a generation" chance-- but Brexit has complicated this, particularly as Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain a part of the EU and subsequently voted overwhelmingly to put the SNP in power in the UK's recent general election.

The Scottish Secretary told BBC Scotland: "A generation, as was in their independence white paper, has not passed.

"We're leaving the EU on Friday and we need to focus on the common fisheries policy, our coastal communities, our trade deals, all the good things we can do rather than another year of referendums, rancour and division."

However Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Relations Michael Russels said that the vote is "a clear endorsement of the mandate the people have given us: to put the question of Scotland’s future back to them in a new public vote.

“A referendum should now be held so that the people can decide if Scotland should be an independent country."

Should the UK government allow it, the vote is expected to take place this year.