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Scotland Will Be Independent By 2025, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Says

June 5, 2017, 11:37 AM UTC

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a new interview that Scotland will be independent from the rest of the U.K. by 2025.

The Scottish leader said, “I think Scotland will be independent, yes, but, you know, that’s a choice for the Scottish people,” when asked by ITV Tonight host Julie Etchingham if she thought the U.K. would split up by 2025.

The sit-down was recorded on May 31 and is scheduled to be broadcast on Monday night.

Sturgeon, as leader of the Scottish National Party, has long championed the nation splitting from the rest of Britain. She renewed that call in earnest following the Brexit vote in June 2016 in which Scots voted overwhelmingly—62% to 38%—to remain in the European Union, but Brits overall voted—52% to 48%—to leave.

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Sturgeon wants another Scottish independence referendum to be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. That timing would allow Scots to evaluate the U.K.’s Brexit deal with the EU as they decide their nation’s future in the U.K.

(Opinion polls show an increased support among Scots for another independence vote, but, as Fortune‘s Geoffrey Smith reports, exiting the U.K. could leave Scotland in an economically perilous position.)

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has rebuffed Sturgeon’s call for another referendum, promising in her Conservative party’s manifesto to block a second vote “unless there is public consent for it to happen.” May called a snap election in April that will take place on Thursday.

Scotland previously voted by a 55% to 45% margin to stay in the U.K., in September 2014. In that referendum, remaining in the EU was an argument in favor of Scotland staying part of Britain. Now, of course, Britain is in the process of exiting the bloc, taking Scotland with it.

That irony is a key factor in Sturgeon’s demand for a second vote. “In 2014, we were told if we voted [to leave the U.K.] we would impale our place in the EU. So, Scotland voted [to remain] to—amongst other things—protect its place in the EU,” she told ITV, according to the Telegraph.

“In 2016, we were told to vote remain to protect our place in the EU. We did that,” she said. Then Scots were told that their voices would be considered in the Brexit process, but Sturgeon argues that that hasn’t happened.
“So, basically, what we’re now being told is, you know, ‘shut up, Scotland, because nobody in the rest of the U.K. is interested in what you want to say,'” Sturgeon told ITV. “That is a democratically unsustainable position.”