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Scottish leader could ask local parliament to block UK exit from EU

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she may ask the Scottish parliament to block the UK’s exit from the EU. However, she doesn’t believe there should be any border between Scotland and England if the country gained independence from the UK.

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Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said she would have no qualms asking parliament to veto legislation that would see the UK exit the EU.

"If the Scottish Parliament was judging this on the basis of what's right for Scotland then the option of saying look we're not to vote for something that's against Scotland's interest, of course that's got to be on the table."

Earlier on Sunday, Sturgeon said she remains committed to try and negotiate with the EU over Scotland’s interests. The Scottish public voted overwhelmingly to stay as part of the EU, but lost out after the UK as a whole narrowly voted to leave.

"My challenge now as first minister is to work out how I best protect Scotland's interests, how I try to prevent us being taken out of the EU against our will with all of the deeply damaging and painful consequences that that will entail," she told the BBC, as cited by Reuters.

Scotland has been getting backing for its case on the continent. Gunther Krichbaum, a senior lawmaker and ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel says an independent Scotland would be welcome to join the EU. 

"The EU will still consist of 28 member states, as I expect a new independence referendum in Scotland, which will then be successful," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, as cited by Reuters. "We should respond quickly to an application for admission from the EU-friendly country."

The President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman also said that Scotland would be able to join the EU if it breaks away from the UK following a referendum.

“From an economic and political point of view, the loss of the UK is a loss. I believe that Scotland will hold a referendum and join the EU,” he said. 

She said she would be talking to officials in Brussels over the next few days about how best to achieve this. She previously mentioned that she would seek direct talks with the EU leadership and presumably with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in the coming week. 

On Saturday, Sturgeon said that steps were being taken on holding a possible second UK independence referendum, saying that it was “clearly an option” and that it was “very much on the table.” 

"To ensure that that option is a deliverable one in the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place," she said. 

On Friday, the former head of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond reiterated former pledges that Scotland would not be pulled out of the EU, and that the public should have the right to another referendum on gaining independence from the UK. 

“The politician you will see emerging over the next few days with the calm authority and leadership that you need in circumstances like this will be Nicola Sturgeon,” Salmond told RT. 

“I am confident that Nicola will take forward the manifesto she won [in] the Scottish elections and [say] very clearly in these circumstances of Scotland dragged out of the European Union against the will of the people, then the Scottish parliament should have the right to initiate another referendum in Scotland,” he added.