Scotland will protect its EU interests: Sturgeon

Edinburgh, June 25 (IANS) Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday that the Scottish government will seek “immediate discussions” with the European Union to “protect Scotland’s position in the bloc” after the UK voted to leave.

Addressing reporters after a cabinet meeting to discuss the Scottish government’s response to Britain’s Brexit vote, Sturgeon stopped short of announcing a second independence referendum.

Sturgeon said she would seek direct talks with the EU leadership and presumably with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in the coming week, RT online reported.

“We will seek to enter discussions with EU institutions and EU member states for all possible options to protect Scotland’s place in the EU. In doing so, we are determined to draw on as much support from across Scotland as possible,” she said, speaking outside Bute House in Edinburgh.

Earlier in the day she had said a second independence referendum was “highly likely” and that it was “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will.

The historic referendum, nicknamed “Brexit”, on Thursday saw Scotland, London and Northern Ireland vote in favour of “Remain”, while England and Wales backed “Leave”.

Scotland voted in favour of Britain staying in the EU by 62 per cent to 38 per cent, but the UK as a whole voted to leave by a margin of 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent.



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