Edinburgh, March 13 (QNA) – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will ask for permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, BBC reported.

She said she wanted a vote to be held between fall 2018 and the spring of the following year.

The Scottish first minister said the move was needed to protect Scottish interests in the wake of the U.K. voting to leave the EU.

She said she would ask the Scottish parliament next week to request a Section 30 order from Westminster.

The order would be needed to allow a fresh legally-binding referendum on independence to be held.

Prime Minister Theresa May has so far avoided saying whether or not she would grant permission.

Her official spokesman responded to Sturgeon’s announcement by saying that the evidence “clearly showed a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum.” “Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum which the Scottish government defined as a ‘once in a generation’ vote.

“Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time”.

The first minister said the U.K. government had not “moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement” since the Brexit referendum, which saw Scotland vote by 62 percent to 38 percent in favor of Remain while the U.K. as a whole voted to leave by 52 percent to 48 percent.

Sturgeon said Scotland stood at a “hugely important crossroads”, and insisted she would continue to attempt to reach a compromise with the UK government. “I will take the steps necessary now to make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process.” “A choice of whether to follow the U.K. to a hard Brexit, or to become an independent country able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the U.K. and our own relationship with Europe.” (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency