Europe

Sturgeon urges Scottish parliament to back referendum call

Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon makes a speech during the SNP Spring Conference, in Aberdeen, Scotland, Saturday March 18, 2017. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon makes a speech during the SNP Spring Conference, in Aberdeen, Scotland, Saturday March 18, 2017. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is asking the Edinburgh-based Scottish parliament to back her demand for a referendum on independence within two years.

Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum that was billed as a once-in-a-generation vote. But Sturgeon says Brexit has changed the situation dramatically.

She said Tuesday that "staying in the U.K. hasn't safeguarded Scotland's place in Europe, it has jeopardized it."

Britons voted in June to leave the EU, but voters in Scotland backed staying in.

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger the two-year EU exit period on March 29.

The British government has to approve a legally binding referendum, and May says she will not agree to Sturgeon's timescale.

The Scottish parliament is due to vote Wednesday on whether to back Sturgeon's referendum call.