Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is scheduled to meet European Parliament leaders in Brussels Wednesday to seek a way for Scotland to remain in the European Union after the U.K. voted last week in favor of Brexit. Scotland is at odds with the U.K. over the referendum as the Scottish public had decisively voted to stay in the bloc.
According to Sturgeon, the prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU is "democratically unacceptable" and she vowed to take all necessary steps to prevent it, Reuters reported. Sturgeon is also ready to revisit the issue of independence from the U.K. to make sure Scotland remains in the EU. She will set out Scotland's position to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and to representatives of the major groups of European lawmakers during her visit to Brussels, she said. However, European Council President Donald Tusk will not be meeting her, his spokesman reportedly said.
"Our early priority has been to ensure that there is a widespread awareness across Europe of Scotland's different choice in the referendum and of our aspiration to stay in the EU," Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament.
She also reportedly said that she has already had discussions with the president and prime minister of Ireland regarding the fallout from the Brexit vote.
Sturgeon believes that the results of the EU referendum showed a division between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. and that a second independence referendum was now "highly likely." She also argued that the people of Scotland will be ready to vote again on the issue if independence was the best way for the country to remain as an EU member.
However, Sturgeon was slammed by the Scottish arm of Britain's ruling Conservative Party for linking the EU issue to the possibility of a second independence referendum.
"You do not dampen the shockwaves caused by one referendum by lighting the fuse for another," Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson reportedly told the parliament in Edinburgh. "[The Brexit vote] does not break the continuing logic of our sharing power with the U.K., not splitting from it."
Leaders from the EU’s member nations, excluding British Prime Minister David Cameron, will meet informally Wednesday to discuss the political and practical implications of Brexit and start a discussion on the future of the politico-economic union with 27 member states.