Indyref

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Nicola Sturgeon vowed to explore all options to keep Scotland in the EU. Eve Hepburn asks, what might these options be and how likely are they to be successful?

IN the aftermath of the Brexit vote, Nicola Sturgeon has stated that the prospect of taking Scotland out of the EU against its will is “democratically unacceptable”. The First Minister vowed to explore all options to keep Scotland in the EU. But what might these options be? And how likely are they to be successful?

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The question of Scottish independence has taken centre stage in the public debate since the Brexit vote. England and Wales have voted to leave the EU, but Scotland and Northern Ireland have voted to remain. Together with this differing outcome, the absence of a post-referendum plan – and of any sign of leadership – on the part of the UK government create a favourable climate for the SNP. But what does it all mean for those campaigning for Scottish independence? Craig McAngus explains.
 
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Last Thursday’s referendum may have answered one question, but it has spawned many more. How does the UK leave the EU? When do we leave? What does leave mean? And what does it all mean for Scotland?

In theory, the ‘how’, at least, is clear. The process is set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – the EU’s constitution. The UK Government must give formal notice of its intention to leave to the European Council (the other members). This kick-starts negotiations on the terms of exit.

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My gut says that there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence and that Yes will win comfortably. Yet, predicting political events and outcomes right now is like predicting the weather. The result is not inevitable, largely because the key factors prompting people to vote No have not gone away – and, in some ways, the No case is now stronger. I’ll explain this by (a) comparing the likely Yes and No stories during the next campaign, and (b) speculating wildly about the extent to which key parties will campaign as hard for No in the second referendum.

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