EDINBURGH, March 9 Scotland could hold an
independence referendum in autumn 2018, just months before the
United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, Scottish
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, the BBC reported.
The threat of a second Scottish independence vote further
complicates Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiations with the
other 27 members of the European Union over the United Kingdom's
Sturgeon said autumn 2018 would be a "common sense time" for
Scotland to hold another independence referendum, once there is
some outline of a deal to exit the European Union.
"Within that window, of when the outline of a UK deal
becomes clear and the UK exiting the EU, I think would be common
sense time for Scotland to have that choice, if that is the road
we choose to go down," Sturgeon, who heads Edinburgh's
pro-independence devolved government, told the BBC.
No decision has yet been taken on a date for a vote, she
added. Under current constitutional conventions, a second
independence vote would have to be approved by the United
Kingdom's government in London.
The results of the June 23 Brexit referendum called the
future of the United Kingdom into question because England and
Wales voted to leave but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to
Sturgeon has repeatedly warned that the Brexit plans of the
government in London could force Scots to call another vote on
the grounds that circumstances had changed since 2014 when Scots
voted 55-45 to stay in the United Kingdom.
(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)