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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon © Getty Images

Scottish referendum request ‘will be rejected’


A request to hold a Scottish independence referendum before the UK leaves the EU will be rejected “conclusively” by the UK government.

Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Ruth Davidson was speaking after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said “now was not the time” for another vote on the issue.

Davidson said there was no clear public or political consent for a vote.

The Scottish government said blocking a referendum would be a democratic outrage.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for a referendum to be held in the autumn of 2018 or the spring of the following year, to coincide with the conclusion of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the EU.

However, Davidson told a media conference in Edinburgh that the people of Scotland should have the right to see how the UK was working after leaving the EU before deciding whether or not they wanted independence.

She added: “People should only be asked to make a judgement on whether to leave or remain within a 300-year-old union of nations when they have seen for themselves how that union is functioning following Brexit.

“They should also know what the alternative entails and we have seen no clarity from the SNP on even the basic questions of their proposition.”

Sturgeon tweeted that the Conservatives ‘fear the verdict of the Scottish people’.

A spokesman for the Scottish government also said blocking a second referendum would be a “miscalculation and blunder of epic and historical proportions”.

Pan European Networks Ltd