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Scotland lawmakers vote to hold independence referendum
Scotland lawmakers vote to hold independence referendum

[JURIST] Scottish lawmakers on Tuesday voted [parliamentary report] 69-59 in favor of holding an independence referendum. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon [official profile] had pushed for a referendum between 2018 and 2019 following the UK’s move to leave the EU. Speaking about her plans last week, Sturgeon stated [press release], “Scotland stands at a hugely important crossroads. On the eve of Article 50 being triggered, not only is there no UK wide agreement on the way ahead – the UK Government has not moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement.” This will be the first referendum on independence for Scotland since September 2014, when citizens voted 55-45 to remain in the UK [JURIST report].

Many believe Brexit will negatively effect the British economy, which will likely be cut off from the EU’s single market, unless an agreement between the two can be reached. The government of Scotland announced [JURIST report] in October that it had published a draft bill for a second referendum that would give the country the opportunity to consider independence from the UK. The government explained the move was made to “protect Scotland’s interests in light of the UK vote to leave the EU.”Concern over the economic health of Britain going into the future led to a global market plunge shortly after the vote, as the pound fell as far as 10 percent against the dollar—a low not seen since 1985. The EU has set out a mechanism for leaving in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, where a member state “may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements,” and “must notify the European council of its intention.”