Sat | Jan 20, 2018

British politics in disarray; Scotland hopes to block Brexit

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Britain faced unending political chaos on Sunday as Scotland's leader declared that the Scottish Parliament might try to block Britain's exit from the European Union, and lawmakers in the opposition Labour Party revolted against their chief for his lacklustre efforts to convince British voters to stay in the bloc.

On the continent, European leaders stepped up the pressure on Britain to begin its extrication from the 28-nation EU immediately rather than wait several months as British Prime Minister David Cameron prefers. Cameron, head of the failed 'remain' side in Britain's historic referendum, announced on Friday that he will step down by October and will not take part in the negotiations with the EU.

As at least eight top Labour figures resigned yesterday in protest, party leader Jeremy Corbyn could even become the next senior figure on the remain' side to lose his job.


The UK-wide vote to leave the EU was very unpopular in Scotland, where 62 per cent voted to stay, and Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that she would consider advising the Scottish Parliament to try to block the move by withholding its "legislative consent" for a British exit, often called a Brexit.

"If the Scottish Parliament was judging this on the basis of what's right for Scotland, then the option of saying 'We're not going to vote for something that is against Scotland's interests', of course, that is on the table," she said of the possibility of withholding consent.

Sturgeon said she believes Scotland's consent is required for the move, but conceded the British government would likely take "a very different view".

The Scottish question looms large because Sturgeon has also said another referendum on Scottish independence from Britain is "highly likely" as a result of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Sturgeon, along with leaders in Northern Ireland, is seeking ways to keep ties with the EU despite the Brexit vote. Northern Ireland voters also indicated a preference for staying in the bloc.