Nicola Sturgeon should rule out indyref2 "once and for all", says David Mundell
Scottish Secretary expected to urge the First Minister to "take a fire extinguisher" to the policy
David Mundell - credit: David Anderson
David Mundell will today call on Nicola Sturgeon to abandon any SNP plans for a second independence referendum "once and for all".
Speaking in Manchester, the Scottish Secretary is expected to use his speech to the Conservative Party conference to urge the First Minister to "take a fire extinguisher" to the policy.
He will say the general election - in which the SNP lost 21 seats while the Scottish Conservatives gained 12 - showed Sturgeon was "badly out of touch with public opinion" north of the Border.
- Jean-Claude Juncker: Brexit talks need a ‘miracle’
- Conservatives were not prepared for snap election, says Theresa May
The SNP leader delayed plans for a second referendum in the wake of the Brexit vote back in June, telling MSPs she had decided to "reset" her proposed timetable.
Announcing the move, Sturgeon said that she continued to be "strongly committed" to Scotland holding a vote once the terms of Brexit have become clear.
But Mundell will call for the FM to rule out plans for another entirely.
"We’re told a second independence referendum is on the back burner," he will say. "Well, it’s time Nicola Sturgeon took a fire extinguisher to it so Scotland can get on with what really matters.
"I hope she takes the opportunity to do so at her party’s conference in a few days’ time. If she won’t, we will. No-one else. Week in week out we see Scottish Labour flip-flopping on the constitution.
"The only way to guarantee the threat of a second independence referendum is swept off the table once and for all is to install Ruth Davidson as Scotland’s First Minister."
Former frontbencher said the decision to block him and Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram from addressing Labour's conference showed the party did not take devolution seriously enough...
UK and EU agree that sufficient progress had been made on exit payments, citizens' rights and the future of the Irish border to allow the negotiations forward in the New Year
Hopes of Brexit deal fade amid calls for 'regulatory alignment' Irish border deal to be extended across the UK
Deal for Northern Ireland should apply UK-wide, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson warns