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Scotland Seeks Independence Again After U.K. 'Brexit' Vote

Published: June 24, 2016
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Source: NBC News

Scotland's government began moves Friday to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. after the "Brexit" vote, saying it faced being taken out of the European Union against its will.

First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon said officials would plan for a "highly likely" vote on separation from the rest of the U.K.

Scots voted by 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the EU, according to Friday's results, in contrast to the overall U.K.-wide result of 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of quitting the bloc.

A majority of voters in Northern Ireland also voted to remain in the EU, suggesting the U.K. faces internal constitutional upheaval as well as a contentious divorce from Brussels.

The issue is seen as important in Washington — and not just due to the historic "special relationship" with the U.K.; Scotland is currently home to 58 U.S. Trident II D-5 missiles, a key plank of NATO's nuclear deterrent.

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