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Scotland considers flexing veto muscle on Brexit vote

Last Updated Jun 26, 2016 10:25 AM EDT

LONDON - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has suggested the Scottish Parliament could be able to keep Britain from enacting its referendum to leave the European Union.

Sturgeon, determined to keep Scotland inside the EU, said on BBC that she would consider advising the Scottish Parliament not to give "legislative consent" to a British exit, or Brexit.

Sixty-two percent of Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU in Thursday's referendum and Sturgeon is looking for ways to keep an exit from happening.

She said withholding Scotland's consent might block Britain's plans to leave the union, but the role of Scotland's Parliament in a final decision has not been made clear.

"I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be that requirement," Sturgeon said of the need for Scotland's approval. "I suspect that the U.K. government will take a very different view on that and we'll have to see where that discussion ends up."

The Scottish question looms large because Sturgeon has also said another referendum on Scottish independence from Britain is "highly likely" as a result of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

The United Kingdom has complicated arrangements with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the latter of whom were given greater legislative independence after a close vote on Scottish independence last year. Reuters reports "legislation generated in London to give effect to the vote to leave the EU would have to gain consent from the three devolved parliaments."

Strugeon said earlier the Brexit vote may leave to another attempt at full Scottish independence.

Northern Ireland leaders have also hinted that they may break from London both on being forced to leave the E.U., as well as a possible "border poll" on full independence.

Sturgeon's Scottish National Party does not enjoy an outright majority in the Scottish Parliament - created in 1998 as part of the devolution process - but she emerged from the EU referendum unscathed, and it remains popular, despite also losing a vote for Scottish independence in 2014. The opposite is true for the leader of the British opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who is under increasing pressure to step down because of the referendum result.

The Labour Party advocated remaining in the EU but many party insiders say Corbyn's lackluster campaigning did little to promote the party's cause.

Thus far, the pressure on Corbyn comes from his "shadow cabinet," a British institution in which the main opposition party designates senior figures to advisory positions, such as "shadow chancellor" or "shadow health secretary." Its members advise the leader on what policies Labour should embrace.

Seven members in the shadow cabinet resigned Sunday after Corbyn fired shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn overnight. The dissidents want Corbyn, who represents the far-left wing of the party, out of the picture before the next general election, which may happen sooner than expected because of the Brexit turmoil.

Shadow heath secretary Heidi Alexander released her resignation letter Sunday after stepping down.

"I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding and I believe that if we are to form the next government, a change of leadership is essential," she wrote bluntly to Corbyn.

Corbyn did not respond publicly to the coordinated assault on his leadership, but senior allies said he would remain in the leadership role and that he still has strong support among the party's rank and file members.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign when a new leader of the Conservative Party is chosen at a party conference in October.

It is possible the new party leader, who would become prime minister, would call a "snap election" to validate his or her position. Corbyn's opponents want a different leader in place in case that happens.