Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence next October, vowing to take legal action to ensure the vote goes ahead if the British government tries to block it.

Sturgeon said the Scottish government, which is led by the pro-independence Scottish National Party, would publish a referendum bill that would outline plans for the secession vote to take place on October 19, 2023.

She also said she would write to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for permission to hold an advisory referendum, but that she had already set in motion plans to get the legal authority if he blocked the plans, she wrote Reuters.

Scotland has a population of approximately 5.5 million

“What I am not prepared to do, what I will never do, is to allow Scottish democracy to be the prisoner of Boris Johnson or any Prime Minister,” Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament.

Voters in Scotland, which has a population of about 5.5 million, rejected independence in 2014. But Scotland’s semi-autonomous government says Britain’s exit from the EU, opposed by most Scots, means the question must be submitted to a second vote

Johnson and the ruling Conservative Party, which is in opposition in Scotland, strongly oppose a referendum, saying the issue was decided in 2014 when Scots voted against independence by 55% to 45%.

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