Britain is scheduled to officially leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon complaining Scotland has been “dragged out” of the bloc against its will. On Friday, just hours before the UK was scheduled to officially cut full ties with the European Union, the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh was lit up in the colours of the EU flag.
Writing on Twitter, the Scottish Government posted an image of its headquarters brandished in blue and yellow.
They wrote: “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has asked our European friends and neighbours to #LeaveALightOn for Scotland.
“Tonight the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh have been lit up in the colours of the EU flag.”
A huge crowd of demonstrators also gathered outside the Scottish Parliament to mourn the country having to leave the European Union on Friday evening.
Among the speakers addressing the crowd included SNP MPs Joanna Cherry and Tommy Sheppard.
Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh have been lit up in the colours of the EU flag
Demonstrations in Scotland as the UK near’s its official departure from the Brussels bloc
The Scottish First Minister has urged supporters of independence to have “patience”, as she predicted Brexit will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.
She told supporters they must be prepared to “stay the course, even if sometimes it feels difficult”.
Speaking in Edinburgh on Brexit day, the SNP leader said told party activists: “We must make our case with passion but also with patience and respect.”
Speaking just hours before the UK leaves the European Union, she added: “I believe Brexit will lead to Scotland being independent. In that sense, the UK in its current form will not exist.
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Demonstrators waved EU and Scottish flags
Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly demanded another independence referednum
Tonight the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh have been lit up in the colours of the EU flag
“That’s a thoroughly positive thing for Scotland.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already rejected the Scottish First Minister’s calls for a fresh independence referendum.
But, Ms Sturgeon said Brexit in Scotland had brought “recognition that there is a fork in the road”.
She said: “Boris Johnson’s path lies one way, the opportunity to be a modern, progressive, open, tolerant country at the heart of Europe lies the other. That other way can only come with independence.”
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Nicola Sturgeon speaking on Brexit Day
Protests in Scotland on Brexit day
Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw condemned the “downbeat” statement from the First Minister.
He added: “Nicola Sturgeon’s determination to plough on with preparations for another vote on independence is predictable, depressing and entirely wrong-headed.
“People across Scotland are sick and tired of her relentless pursuit of a referendum they simply don’t want.
Boris Johnson has already ruled out another Scottish independence vote
Demonstrations in Scotland on Friday
“What people do want is action now to improve education, health, policing and all the other services they rely upon.
“On the day we leave the EU, they want a Government which focuses on Scotland’s economy and jobs.
“And they want Nicola Sturgeon to put her referendum plans where they belong – firmly on the backburner.”
Brexit timeline with Britain officially leaving the EU at 11pm on Friday
It comes with the UK officially cutting ties with the European Union on Friday at 11pm GMT.
Britain’s Union Flag was removed from a line of EU member state flags inside the European Council building in Brussels on Friday evening ahead of the country’s departure from the bloc.
Britain will become the first country to quit the European Union after 47 years in the club, leaving 27 member states that will now regard it as a third country.
Boris Johnson meeting with Nicola Sturgeon
The Prime Minister told Cabinet ministers in a meeting in Sunderland that a “new chapter in the United Kingdom’s story” would start after 11pm.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister began by saying that, today, we start a new chapter in the United Kingdom’s story, turning a page on the division of the last three-and-a-half years and going full steam ahead to bring the nation together and level up opportunity for everyone, right across the country.
“The Prime Minister said that the Government must work for and serve all of the people of this great country.”