News Worms
News Worms

May: 'Now is not the time' for Scottish independence vote

But we can only stop the nationalists if those who support Scotland in the United Kingdom find their voice.

In her interview with STV News, Ms Sturgeon insisted she would "continue to pursue the path" she had set out when she announced plans to win the backing of MSPs to request a Section 30 order from Westminster. "We've had a great history together, I believe we have a great future together", she said.

Asked repeatedly if a consultative referendum is on the table, she said there are "various options".

Explaining her position she wrote that another vote "is not something to which any responsible government could reasonably agree".

"This was its position at the outset of the previous independence referendum debate, the argument being that holding a referendum would not relate to the reserved matter of the Union because it would merely be a non-binding test of public opinion".

May says her government is committed to engaging with the whole of Britain over Brexit to negotiate a good deal for everyone, suggesting there should be no independence referendum until after a final deal is reach with the EU.

In contrast, she said the Conservatives now occupy "the new center ground of British politics, rejecting the extremes of Labour's socialist left, UKIP's libertarian right, and the divisive and obsessive nationalisms of Plaid Cymru [the Welsh nationalist party] and the SNP".

"Now, I have set out the timescale I think is reasonable. So I'm up for continued discussions".

Deputy First Minister John Swinney did not say directly that the SNP would barge ahead with a vote without the government's consent, but speaking on the BBC's Radio 4 Today program, he cautioned May over refusing to give consent for another referendum.

"Alternatively, the legislation could be challenged in court by a third party after it received Royal Assent". If the SNP or independence movement organise one itself, that would risk a mass boycott from no voters and a low turnout, undermining any claim to legitimacy.

Mundell said there would be no negotiations on Section 30, a procedure that allows the Scottish parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.

"The issue would be decided well in advance of any referendum actually taking place, so there would be no question of a result being overturned".

Research carried out by political parties south of the border "sugg ests Nicola Sturgeon was very unpopular with lots of the English electorate", he said.

Meanwhile, Professor Richard Wynn Jones of Cardiff University said it could be "politically productive" for Mrs May to have a conflict with the Scottish Government over the staging of another vote. "Literally, what would be the point?"


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