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Scottish Decision Key to Britain’s Future | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A still image from video shows Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaking following the results of the EU referendum, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain June 24, 2016. Reuters

London-Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made fiery statements that threatened the unity of the UK, as Britain began mulling who the next Prime Minister will be after the resignation of David Cameron following Thursday’s Brexit vote.

“The UK that Scotland voted to stay in 2014 does not exist anymore,” Sturgeon told BBC television on Sunday.

The prospect of Scotland being taken out of the European Union against its will has increased support for independence, which was rejected by 55 percent of voters in the 2014 referendum.

But a Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times found 52 percent of respondents wanted to break with the rest of Britain, while 48 percent were opposed.

In another poll for Scotland’s Sunday Post by research firm Scotpulse, 59 percent said they would vote for independence.

After the result became clear, Sturgeon said that a new independence vote within two years was now “highly likely” and that Scotland was seeking “immediate discussions” with European leaders.

“What’s going to happen with the UK is that there are going to be deeply damaging and painful consequences… I want to try and protect Scotland from that,” Sturgeon told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

In a round of broadcast interviews, Sturgeon also said it was possible that the Scottish parliament may have to give its consent to laws to extricate Britain from the EU.

Asked whether she would consider asking Scottish lawmakers not to give that consent, she replied: “Of course.”

In London, likely candidates to succeed Cameron, including Brexit campaigner and former London mayor Boris Johnson, began sounding out support over the weekend.

Cameron has said negotiations on Britain’s departure must wait until a successor is chosen from his Conservative party, which could be as late as October.