Is Scotland Headed for Another Independence Vote?

Edinburgh, Scotland - romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo by romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second vote to leave the United Kingdom in order to avoid having to leave the European Union

Last summer the UK as a whole voted in favor of leaving the EU in a popular referendum. In Scotland, however, voters opposed the decision 62 to 38, according to stats cited by the Associated Press

Sturgeon said that she would call on the Scottish Parliament next week to start the process for a second independence referendum, which would be held between the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019. Meanwhile, the UK Parliament is set to approve a bill that will start the formal process of withdrawing from the EU, a process that will take two years. The British government must agree to a legally binding referendum on Scottish independence, and has not yet said whether or not it would do so for a second time. 

What would a second vote mean for travel? Ahead of the first independence vote back in 2014, travel industry officials were predicting little impact on travel from a move to become an independent country. 

Michael McCuish, a representative from VisitScotland, told Travel Agent at the time that "A changing political landscape is a part of all destinations in the world, and Scotland will continue to be a must-visit, must-return destination because of its strengths."

Additionally, plans leading up to the first travel vote called for Scotland to remain part of a Common Travel Area (CTA), which allows all citizens of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to travel freely across borders within the area. Sturgeon has since told The Daily Telegraph that the CTA would also be a part of the second independence vote, as well. 

At the same time, an independent Scotland would not become a member of the EU automatically. According to the Telegraph, the European Commission has suggested the country would join the "back of the queue" of other countries seeking membership. 

In 2014 Scotland voted to remain part of the UK 55 percent to 45 percent

Stay tuned to our Scotland travel news page for the latest updates to this developing story.