BRITISH: PM Theresa May Braces For Second Scottish Independence Referendum Demand Over Brexit

The Times Of London reports:

Theresa May is preparing for the Scottish government to call a second independence referendum to coincide with the triggering of Article 50 next month. Senior government sources say there is serious concern that Nicola Sturgeon will use the start of the Brexit process to demand another vote on the future of the UK and that Whitehall is planning for that event.

The prime minister could reject the demand, but such a move would risk causing a constitutional crisis. If she agreed, ministers have been warned, she would risk the break-up of the United Kingdom on a “coin toss”.

Mrs May has also been told that she faces a double-headed “devolution crisis” next month, with Stormont elections on Friday unlikely to resolve Northern Ireland’s political turmoil. Concerns about Scotland and Northern Ireland were discussed last Tuesday by the cabinet.

More from Reuters:

The threat of a new Scottish independence referendum is creating unnecessary uncertainty and division, a government spokesman said on Monday, responding to media reports that Scottish nationalists were preparing to demand one.

“The question is not whether there could be a second referendum, it is whether there should be one – and the clear answer to that is no,” the spokesman said. “The decision to remain in the UK was made by the Scottish people in 2014 and all the evidence at the moment shows people in Scotland don’t want another referendum. “The threat of one is creating unnecessary uncertainty and division.”

And from The Scotsman

The value of the sterling fell yesterday following claims the SNP could call a second vote on Scottish independence imminently. The devaluing the pound came just days after the Royal Back of Scotland issued a stark warning that Indyref2 could “adversely” affect its operations.

Ipez Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at LCG Insight, told a Scottish newspaper: “The Scottish concerns are, in fact, nothing new. The UK’s decision to quit the European Union had immediately triggered questions regarding Scotland’s future in the United Kingdom. However, the eventuality hasn’t been largely factored in the pound’s value so far.

“If Scotland decides to proceed with the second referendum to quit the UK, there would certainly be another fundamental downshift in the pound’s value, both against the US dollar and the euro.