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Scottish independence referendum would not be legal: UK minister

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17th-Mar-2017       
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Reuters, London :
It would be impossible to hold a legal and decisive referendum on Scottish independence in the timeframe demanded by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the British government's Scotland minister said in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday.
Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), on Monday demanded a new referendum in late 2018 or early 2019, once the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union become clearer but before Brexit happens.
"It would be impossible for people in the timescale suggested by Nicola Sturgeon to make a reasoned view and, therefore, have a legal, fair and decisive referendum," Britain's Scotland Secretary David Mundell told The Herald.
The United Kingdom as a whole voted last year to leave the EU, but Scotland, one of the UK's four constituent parts, voted to stay. Sturgeon has argued Scotland should not be dragged out of the bloc against its will.
Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 percent in a referendum in 2014, but the SNP argue that the circumstances have changed since then, because of Brexit.

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