Brexit: Scotland, Northern Ireland move toward independence votes

LONDON, June 24 (UPI) — The Scottish National Party hinted it will move toward another independence vote and Sinn Fein called for a vote on Irish unity following Britain’s decision on Thursday to leave the European Union.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, said the so-called “Brexit” could lead to a new vote on Scottish independence. Scotland’s previous referendum on independence lost by a narrow margin in 2014.

“Scotland sees its future as part of the EU,” Sturgeon said. “Scotland clearly and decisively voted to remain part of the European Union, 62 to 38 per cent.”

The SNP’s most recent manifesto for last month’s parliament elections said another referendum on independence should go forward if a “significant and material” change in circumstances occurred, in particular, Scotland being dragged out of the EU.

Northern Ireland also voted to remain with the EU, but a slightly smaller margin than Scotland, 56 percent to 44 percent. Sinn Fein quickly pushed for a re-united Ireland.

Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney said “English voters are dragging Northern Ireland out of the EU. This British Government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland.

“We now have a situation where Brexit has become a further cost of partition,” Kearney said. “A further cost of the Union and Sinn Fein will now press our demand, our long standing demand, for a border poll.”

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