Sturgeon holds firm after May's 'not now' to Scottish referendum

Nicola Sturgeon’s increased ratings come despite a decline in approval of her handling of core issues such as education James Glossop  Reuters

British Prime Minister Theresa May accused the Scottish National Party (SNP) of "obsessive" nationalism, describing the party's call for another independence vote as "muddle on muddle".

Mrs May said: "I do not agree with the SNP that now is the time to be talking about a second independence referendum".

"Scottish Labour will vote against a second referendum next week and the Labour Party I lead will never support leaving the United Kingdom".

The debate, titled "Scotland's choice", will divide the parliament depending on the constitutional fault line.

"It is for the Scottish parliament - not Downing Street - to determine the timing of a referendum, and the decision of the Scottish parliament must be respected", she said.

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The ruling Scottish National Party in Edinburgh has refused to back down over its demand for a new independence vote after Ms May said: "Now is not the time". The only question is what kind of change.

She insisted: "We will have a referendum".

Ms Sturgeon will say: "Whatever our different opinions on independence, we can all unite around this simple principle - Scotland's future must be Scotland's choice".

In a television interview, May said the United Kingdom should be putting "all its energies" into coming negotiations on splitting from the European Union and that a second referendum on Scottish independence before the end of talks would risk weakening Britain's negotiating hand.

The scenario raises the possibility of the SNP calling an advisory referendum with the permission of the Scottish Parliament, which could take place before Brexit.

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"So when the terms of Brexit are known - and not before - we will give the people the choice over the direction Scotland should take - before it is too late to change course". The SNP and Scottish Greens support giving the people the right to decide the country's future in light of the new found Tory ascendency at Westminster and the chaos of a Tory Hard Brexit and exit from the single market.

"I am arguing a case here that derives from an election mandate for which there is majority support in the Scottish Parliament and I am going to continue to make that argument in the Scottish Parliament and to the wider Scottish public".

"The Prime Minister's position just now - and it's a position I don't think is sustainable - is that she's not even prepared to have the discussion".

The prime minister was speaking in Cardiff as she tours Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in an attempt to create a Brexit consensus ahead of Article 50. The Prime Minister has said what she has said.

ANGUS Robertson has reassured SNP activists there will be a second independence referendum based on Brexit, despite Theresa May refusing to allow it.

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"The fact that more Scottish voters backed Scotland staying in the United Kingdom in 2014 than supported the United Kingdom staying in the European Union in 2016, and that nearly half a million independence supporters actually backed Brexit previous year, seems to count for nothing".


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