LONDON Feb 23 The Scottish government is
increasingly convinced it can win a new independence referendum
and is thinking very seriously about calling one next year as
Britain exits the European Union, an advisor to the devolved
Edinburgh government said on Thursday.
Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay inside the EU at last
June's referendum, but Britain as a whole voted to leave and
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she plans to trigger
the start of the Brexit process by the end of March.
"I believe the Scottish government is thinking very, very
seriously about going for an independence referendum next year,"
said Charles Grant, an advisor to the Scottish government's
Standing Council on Europe.
"They feel they have enough emotion and momentum to overcome
the economic downsides... the harder the Brexit, the more likely
they are to break away."
Scots rejected independence by a 10 point margin in a 2014
(Reporting Marc Jones and John Geddie in London and Elisabeth
O'Leary in Edinburgh)