Queen in Scotland Speaks to Prime Minister Who Wants Independence

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Scotland for an official visit. She arrived in Edinburgh on a royal train. The 96-year-old queen, who has health problems, got off the train unaided, British media reported enthusiastically.


She speaks in the Scottish capital with Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, among others.

Sturgeon will announce her plan on Tuesday to hold another referendum on Scotland’s independence in October 2023. In September 2014, 55 percent of voters voted against independence in a referendum. But because of Brexit, several Scots now regret it.

In Scotland, 62 percent of voters voted for membership in the European Union in 2016. In 2014, the referendum was held in Scotland because the government in London granted special powers to do so. The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not seem prepared to do that at the moment.

Nicola Sturgeon is going to tell the Scottish Parliament at around 3 pm (our time) how she plans to organize her plebiscite. She believes that her majority in the Scottish Parliament gives her the power to do so. The British government disputes that.

Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party has wanted to hold a referendum for years, but it’s hard to hold a plebiscite whose outcome is widely recognized if London and Scottish opponents of secession oppose its validity. Sturgeon might call it a consultative referendum to soften opponents.

Scotland’s independence need not matter much to the monarch of the kingdom. The kingdoms of England and Scotland were given one king in 1603 but remained two separate states for more than a hundred years.

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