Will Scotland Leave the UK?

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British Prime Minister Theresa May trigger of Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally launches two years of negotiations that will determine the future of EU-UK relations after the United Kingdom has left the bloc. However, as talks approach, May faces a divided country at home. Last Tuesday, Scotland’s devolved parliament voted 69 to 59 to give Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the authority to ask London for a new independence referendum, on grounds that Brexit has delegitimized the results of Scotland’s last independence referendum in 2014.  Sturgeon wants to hold a new referendum between 2018 and 2019, smack in the middle of planned Brexit negotiations. This is something that May has said she cannot allow. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute, on whether this second referendum is likely to take place, and what could happen to the UK if it passes.

The Cipher Brief: Now that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for a new Scottish independence referendum to be held between 2018 and 2019, what are the main legal obstacles to this plan?

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