Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she acted because of the refusal of Britain's Prime Minister to compromise with Scotland over Brexit. Scotland cannot trigger a second referendum without UK parliamentary approval.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday announced that she wants a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement in Edinburgh. She said it was prompted by the refusal of Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to compromise with Scotland over Brexit.
She said Britain was dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will.
Sturgeon said she would move quickly to give Scottish voters a chance to make Scotland an independent country.
She said the referendum should be held between the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019 because by then, details of Britain's post-Brexit deal with the EU would be clear and Scottish voters would be able to make "an informed choice."
The British government must agree before a legally binding referendum can be held.
Sturgeon spoke as Britain's Parliament was on the verge of approving a Brexit bill that would allow Britain to start the formal withdrawal from the EU in the next few days.
But after Sturgeon's announcement, May asked for the approval to be postponed to the end of March.
TRT World's Myriam Francois is following the story from London.
Sturgeon says UK intransigence prompted call
Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum, but Sturgeon said Brexit had brought about a "material change of circumstances."
Sturgeon said she had made good faith proposals for a compromise, but had been met with a "brick wall of intransigence" from the British government.
Overall, Britons voted to leave the EU in the June 23, 2016 Brexit referendum, but Scottish voters strongly backed staying inside the EU.
Sturgeon said she hoped Scotland would be able to stay in the European single market and customs union, but has become convinced May is pursuing a "hard Brexit" that would leave Britain on its own.
The Scottish leader also warned that May's Conservative Party had "consolidated power and may govern until 2030 because of weakness in the Labour Party opposition."
In this circumstance, she said it is important for Scotland to "take active steps to protect its interests" as Britain prepared to trigger its departure from the EU.
She said "Scotland is at a difficult crossroads not of her own choosing but must not stand by and simply hope for the best."