EDINBURGH: (APP) Scotland's nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday pressed on with calls for a new independence referendum , saying it might be the only way to protect the country's interests as Brexit approaches.
"Proposing a further decision on independence wouldn't simply be legitimate, it would almost be a necessary way of giving the people of Scotland a say in our own future direction," said Sturgeon, the first minister of the semi-autonomous Scottish government.
Speaking in Edinburgh, she also accused anti-EU campaigners of plotting a "gross betrayal" of promises made to Scotland ahead of last year's Brexit vote.
Scotland voted by 55 percent to stay part of the United Kingdom in 2014, and in the 2016 referendum on European Union membership it voted by 62 percent to remain, sparking a fresh constitutional crisis.
Overall Britain voted by 52 percent in favour of leaving the EU, with England and Wales supporting Brexit while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the bloc.
Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), proposed a "compromise" which would keep Scotland in the European single market, even as the rest of the UK leaves.
But a new paper by the Scottish Conservatives, allied with Britain's ruling Conversative Party, has warned that a separate Scottish deal on EU membership would "result in the fracturing of the UK domestic market... damage the economy and reduce growth in Scotland".
The British government says it is still considering Sturgeon's compromise offer, but the Conservatives' paper has further eroded the possibility of deal.