The promise to give Scottish voters a second referendum on independence is not a ‘bluff’, the country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Sunday, if her country is “driven off a hard Brexit cliff”.
Sturgeon spoke at an interview by BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, shortly before British Prime Minister Theresa May’s televised remarks that she would be revealing Brexit plans in the coming weeks.
“They will be making a big mistake if they think I am in any way bluffing” Sturgeon warned May government regarding another Scottish independence referendum.
If the U.K. government leaves the single European market, it would present Scotland “the opportunity to decide whether it wants to be driven off a hard Brexit cliff by right-wing Tory Brexiteers or whether it wants to take control of its own future”.
Sturgeon last week said Scotland would take a second referendum of independence off the table if the U.K. government aimed for a so-called soft Brexit, where the country would remain part of European single market after Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May meanwhile said on Sky News that she was “ambitious” for what the government “can get for the UK in terms of our relationship with the European Union”, because she also thinks “that’s going to be good for the European Union”.
The uncertainty caused by the British electorate’s decision to leave the U.K. continued last week as the country’s top envoy to the European Union Ivan Rogers resigned.
Rogers, who previously claimed agreeing a final post-Brexit trade deal with the remaining EU states could take up to 10 years, was replaced with Tim Barrow.
Rogers said the government’s Brexit plans were “muddled”, a claim which Theresa May denied on Sunday.
Prime Minister Theresa May insists her government will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will formally initiate the country’s exit from the 28-member bloc, despite a U.K. High Court ruling which says British lawmakers must first consult.
The May government appealed this ruling at the Supreme Court, which took it up in December 2016, but it is still to issue a final judgement.