The Scottish government is seriously thinking about staging a second independence referendum next year, triggering a mixed reaction within the EU.
Charles Grant, an adviser to the Scottish government’s Standing Council on Europe, told Reuters: “The Scottish government is thinking very, very seriously about going for an independence referendum next year.”
Grant said that Brexit is the main reason behind Edinburgh’s renewed attempts to make Scotland an independent country.
“They feel they have enough emotion and momentum to overcome the economic downsides... the harder the Brexit, the more likely they are to break away,” Grant said.
Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent in favor of remaining in the UK in a tightly contested September 2014 referendum, but largely opposed the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. In fact, 62 percent of the Scottish population voted for Britain to remain in the EU.
As the British government is increasingly leaning toward “hard Brexit,” which entails the total withdrawal from the European single market and customs union, the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) has intensified its calls for a second independence vote.
Last October, the Scottish government published a draft bill for the second referendum.