EDINBURGH — Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has put the question of Scottish freedom once more into play, with Scotland having voted vigorously for the UK to stay in the alliance.
While dominant parts of voters in England and Wales upheld the campaign to leave the 28-country alliance, the UK’s two different regions of Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.
Hot on the heels of Friday’s results, nationalist leaders in both countries vowed to leave the UK if that is the required price to keep their homelands fully connected to Europe.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the result put another independence referendum ‘on the table’, adding that it was ‘highly likely’ within two years.
Scotland, where nationalists already in power narrowly lost a 2014 independence referendum, appears poised to be first out the UK door if its English neighbors don’t manage a negotiated U-turn to remain inside the EU.
“As things stand, Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable,” she said.
Throughout the 2014 campaign Ms Sturgeon made it clear that if Scotland was pulled out of the EU against its will, that would be grounds for a second referendum on seceding from the United Kingdom.
The UK as a whole voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the EU. However, Scotland voted strongly for Britain to remain — by 62 per cent to 38 per cent — with a majority in all 32 of its local authority areas.
Wales and England, except London, voted for Britain to leave the EU, while Northern Ireland voted for it to stay in.
Ms Sturgeon said her devolved government would now draw up legislation to allow a second Scottish independence referendum.
Citing a clause in her Scottish National Party manifesto, she said there had now been a “significant and material change in the circumstances in which Scotland voted against independence” in 2014, when 55 per cent of Scots voted to stay in the UK.
Next door, Irish nationalists in the long-disputed UK region of Northern Ireland say the British vote has reignited their demands for an all-island referendum to reunite the two parts of Ireland after 95 years of partition.
They argue that a British withdrawal from the EU would force authorities in both parts of Ireland to renew customs and security controls on what would become the UK’s only land border with an EU state, the Republic of Ireland.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.