Sturgeon told the devolved Scottish parliament the ‘case for independence is stronger than ever’ [Russell Cheyne/Reuters]

Scotland will hold a vote on independence from the UK by 2021 if the country leaves the European Union, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

In an address to Scotland’s devolved Holyrood Parliament on Wednesday, Sturgeon said she would introduce legislation before the end of the year to set out the rules for a new referendum as part of efforts to avoid “the worst of the damage Brexit will do”.

Nearly 52 percent of Britons – more than 17 million people – voted to leave the EU during a June 2016 poll on membership of the bloc.

A majority of voters in Scotland – one of the UK’s four

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