Scotland’s leader says she doesn’t want to use a possible British vote to leave the European Union as leverage to achieve independence.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon concedes that Scots’ secessionist spirits would be inflamed if English voters forced them out of the EU.
Sturgeon spoke today on the second day of her Scottish National Party’s spring conference, which is focused on strengthening nationalist control of Scotland’s Parliament in a May 5 election.
She linked the United Kingdom’s June 23 referendum on EU membership to her party’s ambition to stage a second referendum on ending its political union with fellow UK members England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A poll published in the Scotland today newspaper provided new indications that Scotland’s case for independence would be revived if the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave the European Union.
The poll, Sturgeon said, “demonstrates the strength of feeling in Scotland that we want to stay in the European Union - but also the strength of feeling there would be if we were taken out of the European Union against our will, if Scotland voted to stay in but the rest of the UK outnumbered us.”