FILE - In this Monday, May 23, 2016 file photo, Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon talks to journalists after meeting in London. Scotland’s leader Nicola Sturgeon will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will, she said Monday March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Scotland seeks new independence referendum amid Brexit spat

Move draws quick rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May

LONDON — Scotland’s leader delivered a shock twist to Britain’s EU exit drama on Monday, announcing that she will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the EU against its will.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she would move quickly to give voters a new chance to leave the United Kingdom because Scotland was being forced into a “hard Brexit” that it didn’t vote for. Britons decided in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU, but Scots voted by 62 to 38 per cent to remain.

The move drew a quick rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May who said a second referendum would be hugely disruptive and is not justified because evidence shows most Scottish voters oppose a second referendum.

She said Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party is guilty of “tunnel vision.”

Sturgeon spoke in Edinburgh as Britain’s Parliament was on the verge of approving a Brexit bill that will allow the U.K. to start the formal withdrawal from the EU within days.

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