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Scotland’s first minister launches bid for 2nd independence vote

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched a campaign for another independence referendum, eight years after Scots voted against separation from the United Kingdom.

“After everything that has happened – Brexit, COVID, [British Prime Minister] Boris Johnson [‘s partygate scandal] – it is time to set out a different and better vision,” she told a press conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Sturgeon, meanwhile, released the first in a series of official papers, laying out the arguments for independence.

The paper, titled Independence in the Modern World – Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland?, argues that Scotland is similar in size to several European countries that are outdoing the UK in terms of economy and social welfare.

“Scotland under Westminster control is being held back,” Sturgeon said. “With independence, we too would have the levers and the autonomy that these countries take for granted to help fulfill their potential,” she noted.

Back in 2014, Scotts voted 55 percent to 45 in favor of remaining part of the UK.

Now, Sturgeon says constituents had given a clear mandate to push for another independence plebiscite by voting for her pro-independence Scottish National Party in a parliamentary election last year.

Johnson and his Conservative Party are, however, strongly opposed to the move.

“The decision was taken by the Scottish people only a few years ago,” he told reporters.

“I think we should respect that, and we should also focus on what I think the whole of the UK – Scotland, England, everybody – wants us to look at, which is the economic position we’re in,” he added.

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