United Kingdom government snubs Scottish parliament vote to hold new independence referendum

The UK government has already announced its course of action and confirmed that it will block a referendum until after the Brexit process has been completed.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "What I would say is, however much and however damaging Brexit is going to be to Scotland's economy, it is not going to be anywhere near as a bad as what independence would mean".

Although the Nationalists no longer have a majority in the Scottish Parliament, they won the historic vote thanks to the support of the six Green MSPs. "Now is the time when we should be pulling together, not hanging apart", she told reporters after her meeting with Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon said she "hoped the UK Government would respect the will of the Scottish Parliament", but if it does not she will set out her next steps after the Easter recess.

Sturgeon is trying to build momentum in the polls for independence after being defeated last time, when the Scottish economy was performing better and the price of North Sea oil was nearly twice what it is today.

"Now is a time when we should be pulling together... to ensure we get the best possible deal for the whole of the United Kingdom, including the people of Scotland", May said following her meeting with Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and deputy John Swinney arrive for a key vote on a Scottish Independence Referendum.

The post-Brexit power settlement will be central to the parallel debate over a second independence referendum.

Sturgeon said the Brexit vote is forcing Scotland out of the European Union against its will as 62% of Scots voted in June to remain in the bloc.

As members of Parliament backed the decision to trigger Article 50, citing the "will of the people", some Scottish politicians argued that Scots' voices had been silenced, leading to renewed calls for independence.

"She came to Edinburgh just after becoming Prime Minister and said then that she wanted to forge a UK-wide agreement for triggering Article 50".

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: "Scottish Liberal Democrats stood on a manifesto to oppose a divisive referendum and we will continue to do that".

He added that he was pleased that the Prime Minister has today recognized the importance of reassuring European Union citizens living in Britain who are understandably extremely concerned about their future.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also hit out at the proposal for a second vote, saying most people had no desire for another “divisive” referendum.

Responding to Mrs May's view, Holyrood's Brexit minister Mr Russell said it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland could not have a vote on its future.

He claimed her approach over the last nine months had left Northern Ireland "deadlocked", Wales "alienated" and Scotland "going for a referendum", while the English are "split down the middle" over Brexit.

  • Leroy Wright