First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon Tuesday announced a new referendum for Scottish independence to be held in October 2023. Sturgeon made the announcement as the Scottish parliament passed a referendum bill on independence.
According to Sturgeon:
Independence is about equipping ourselves to navigate the future, guided by our own values, aspirations and interests. Now is the time – at this critical moment in history – to debate and decide the future of our country. Now is the time to get Scotland on the right path – the path chosen by those who live here. Now is the time for independence….To believe in Scottish independence is to believe in a better future. It involves an unashamedly optimistic view of the world. The belief that things can be better than they are now.
Sturgeon also released a letter sent to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson alerting him to the referendum. In the letter, Sturgeon stated, “[y]ou and I will never agree on the merits of independence for Scotland. But I would expect any democrat to agree that it is unacceptable for the people of Scotland to be blocked from making that choice given the clear majority for a referendum in the Scottish Parliament.”
Johnson responded to the announcement and letter during a press conference in Madrid for the NATO Summit and said his focus is the nation’s economy. Johnson believes Scotland and the UK will “be able to have a stronger economy and a stronger country together.”
During the 2016 Brexit referendum, the majority of Scottish citizens voted to remain in the EU, creating diplomatic tensions.