The Scottish government on Monday released its draft bill for a new independence referendum after the pandemic, amid a period of turmoil for pro-independence First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, six weeks away from crucial local elections.
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According to this text, it will be up to the Scottish Parliament to decide the date of the election, which London strongly opposes, but which the local government believes should take place after the health crisis.
The question asked “Should Scotland become an independent country?” It would remain the same as in 2014, when the British province decided for 55% to remain within the United Kingdom. But Brexit, against which Scots voted 62% in 2016, changed the situation and gave wings to the will for independence.
Support for independence and for Nicola Sturgeon’s party, the SNP, however, has waned in recent weeks against a backdrop of heartbreak among separatists. Local elections later on 6 May were expected to win such a majority in the local parliament that it would destabilize the position of Boris Johnson’s government, which remains in the denial of a new consultation to Scotland.
Amid controversy over her handling of sexual assault allegations against her predecessor as head of government and SNP Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon has intensified demands for her resignation from the opposition, which was finally approved by justice in 2020.
According to indiscretions in local media, a parliamentary committee concluded last Thursday that the prime minister had “betrayed” parliament, as his account contained a contradiction about a meeting at the start of the Salmond case.
The official report is due on Monday, and another report to determine whether the pro-independence leader violated the ministerial code of conduct in the case could be released on Monday or even Tuesday.
A few days apart, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon testified before lawmakers accused of shedding light on the matter.
The head of the local government assured on 3 March that he had acted “appropriately” and considered “absurd” the allegations of conspiracy to remove him from public life framed by his former patron.
Alex Salmond said he had “no doubt” that Nicola Sturgeon violated the code of conduct.
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