Europe

The Latest: UK gov't non-committal on Scotland referendum

  • Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50.  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their public concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Demonstrators, one dressed in a Theresa May puppet head pose near parliament in London, Monday, March 13, 2017. The action represented their public concern that the Prime Minister is whipping MPs to endorse a 'blank cheque Brexit', as MPs vote on the Lords amendment of Article 50. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Scotland leader's decision to seek new independence referendum (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

The British government says it will take Scotland's interests into account as it negotiates a new relationship with the European Union.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced she will seek a referendum on independence from the U.K. because Scotland is being forced out of the bloc's single market against its will. She accuses Prime Minister Theresa May's British government of refusing to compromise.

May's government says in response that it is seeking "a future partnership with the EU that works for the whole of the United Kingdom. The U.K. Government will negotiate that agreement, but we will do so taking into account the interests of all of the nations of the U.K."

The British government has to give its approval for a legally binding referendum. It didn't say whether it would do so, but said an independence ballot "would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time."

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12:45 p.m.

Demonstrators are gathering outside the British Parliament in advance of a vital debate on Britain's planned exit from the European Union.

The group is opposed to Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to take Britain out of the EU by triggering Article 50 in the coming days.

One protester wore an oversize May puppet head. The group wants Parliament to have a "meaningful" vote on Brexit terms

The House of Commons is set to debate Brexit Monday afternoon and evening.

It is expected Parliament will eventually give May legal authority to start Brexit proceedings. Britons voted in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU.

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11:45 a.m.

Scotland's leader has said she will seek authority for a new independence referendum.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Monday she will move quickly to give Scottish voters a chance to make Scotland an independent country.

Sturgeon said British Prime Minister Theresa May has so far refused to compromise with Scotland over Brexit.

She said it is important for Scotland to take active steps to protect its interests as Britain prepared to trigger its departure from the European Union.

Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum, but Sturgeon said that the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU had brought about a "material change or circumstances."