Theresa May: 'now is not the time' for indyref2
Prime Minister Theresa May says second referendum on independence before the outcome of Brexit negotiations would be "unfair" on Scots
Theresa May - credit Neil Hall/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated she is likely to refuse permission for the Scottish Parliament to hold a second referendum on independence in the timescale favoured by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Last week Sturgeon announced she would seek a parliamentary mandate for a referendum to be held in the autumn of 2018 or the spring of the following year. The Scottish Greens said they would back the call for a section 30 order in a Holyrood vote.
But in a statement after Sturgeon had faced First Ministers Questions today, May said the referendum would interfere with her negotiations with Europe on Brexit.
"My message is clear - now is not the time," she said.
"I think it would not be fair to the people of Scotland because they’d be being asked to take a crucial decision without the necessary information, without knowing what the future partnership will be or what the alternative of an independent Scotland would look like.
"So I think, just now, we should be putting all our energies into ensuring that we get that right deal for the UK and the right deal for Scotland in our negotiations with the European Union. That is my job as prime minister.
"Right now, we should be working together, not pulling apart. We should be working together to get that right deal for Scotland, that right deal for the UK. And so, for that reason, I say to the SNP now is not the time."
The sentiment was echoed in a tweet by Scottish Secretary David Mundell:
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In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, Barnier made clear he was not looking for a 'no deal' outcome, but said both sides must prepare for the eventuality