EDINBURGH, March 28 The Scottish parliament
voted on Tuesday to back First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's bid to
hold a new independence referendum in late 2018 or 2019, once
the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union have become
The Edinburgh assembly's vote, which was widely expected,
gives Sturgeon a mandate to seek permission from the British
parliament in London to press forward with preparations for a
Scotland voted against independence in a 2014 referendum,
but Sturgeon argues circumstances have changed since then
because the UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union
while Scotland voted strongly to remain in the bloc.
The motion, put forward by Sturgeon, passed by 69 votes in
favour and 59 votes against in the Scottish parliament.
(Reporting by Russell Cheyne in Edinburgh and Estelle Shirbon
in London; editing by Michael Holden)