Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on people across the United Kingdom to move to Scotland ahead of Brexit.
Sturgeon made the remarks on Saturday in Aberdeen, east of Scotland, while addressing the Scottish National Party (SNP)'s spring conference. She extended her invitation to everyone "as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster government is taking.”
She declared that Scotland will stage another “independence referendum.”
"Scotland isn't full up. If you are as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster government is taking, come and join us,” she said.
"Come here to live, work, invest or study. Come to Scotland and be part of building a modern, progressive, outward-looking, compassionate country,” she continued.
Sturgeon accused May of seeking a hard Brexit and attacked the prime minister’s "intransigence.”
"The Prime Minister's attitude should worry all of us hoping that negotiations with Europe will not be a disaster because—and let me put this bluntly—if she shows the same condescension and inflexibility, the same tin ear, to other EU countries as she has to Scotland then the Brexit process will hit the rocks,” she continued.
"In an independent Scotland, the SNP would guarantee unequivocally the right to stay here for all EU citizens who do us the honor of making our country their home,” she reiterated.
A new vote on independence from the UK needs to be signed off by London to be legally binding. The premier has so far refused to grant her the powers needed to stage a legally constituted referendum.
Sturgeon on Monday demanded a new referendum by early 2019 at the latest, just before the UK is expected to leave the European Union. May however said “now is not the time” for another referendum, because all energies should be devoted to getting a good Brexit deal for the UK as a whole.
The first minister who has repeatedly refused to rule out staging an unofficial referendum also told BBC on Friday that she was still keen to “work our way through” disagreements with May.
She argued that they both agreed the referendum should not be held now. Sturgeon insisted on Monday the vote should be held between fall 2018 and spring 2019. Surgeon argued that it was imperative for a vote on Scotland's constitutional future to take place once the Brexit deal being signed in March 2019.
In a referendum held on June 23 in the UK, almost 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU. The Scottish people however voted by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the bloc.
This was while in a referendum back in 2014, 55 percent of Scottish people backed staying in the UK. But according to the SNP, the political landscape has dramatically changed since then and that the former vote was based on expectations that the UK would remain in the EU.
The latest annual ScotCen Scottish Social Attitudes survey that was released on Wednesday indicated that at least 46 percent of Scottish voters back breaking away from the UK.
The SNP's deputy leader Angus Robertson said on Friday that there is no doubt that "Scotland will have its referendum and the people of this country will have their choice. They will not be denied their say."