A second Scottish independence referendum is ''highly likely'', First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday, raising the prospect that the UK could tear itself apart after voting to leave the European Union. Rosanna Philpott reports.
SOUNDBITE (English) SCOTLAND FIRST MINISTER, NICOLA STURGEON, SAYING: "It's therefore a statement of the obvious that the option of a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table" A stark message from north of the border... A second vote on independence is 'highly likely', after the rest of the UK voted to pull it out of the EU against its will. Scots voting emphatically to remain in the EU on Thursday... with a margin of 62 percent to 38. That put it sharply at odds with the UK as a whole. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "Certainly there is a huge divide, and I think what this vote has shown is that perhaps the regions have been neglected and the concerns that they had have been neglected and this great move towards London, which of course is one of the biggest global cities in the world, has perhaps alienated the rest, and there is a huge gap there to fill." Nicola Sturgeon had already hinted she'd back a second independence referendum. Now that just got much more likely. SOUNDBITE (English) SCOTLAND FIRST MINISTER, NICOLA STURGEON, SAYING: "As things stand, Scotland faces prospect of taken out of EU against our will. I regard that as democratically unacceptable." The Scottish first minister says she thinks it's inconceivable Westminster will stand in the way of a second vote. But with, or without, its consent, Sturgeon is treading carefully. In 2014, the nationalist campaign foundered on its economic policies... Sturgeon stopping short of setting a date on Friday ... She may wait to see whether polls really show a big shift towards support for independence. If they do, the UK as we know it may not be around for much longer.