Downing Street says a new Scottish referendum would create uncertainty "at the worst possible time"

 
Mark Sands
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First Minister/Caledonian Lecture
Sturgeon will ask the Scottish parliament to back a second referendum next week (Source: Getty)

Downing Street has hit out at Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon after the Holyrood politician revealed she would next week kick off her bid for a second independence referendum.

Sturgeon today said she had hit a "brick wall of intransigence" in seeking to present Scotland's Brexit fears to Westminster, and promised to seek a vote between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

But Theresa May's government has responded by attacking Sturgeon's plans, and denying it had failed to collaborate over Brexit planning.

Read More: Will Sturgeon's second Scottish referendum brinkmanship backfire?

"We have been working closely with all the devolved administrations - listening to their proposals, and recognising the many areas of common ground, including workers’ rights, the status of EU citizens living in the UK and our security from crime and terrorism," a government spokesman said.

“Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum which the Scottish government defined as a ‘once in a generation’ vote.

The evidence clearly shows that a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum. Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time."

Read More: Sadiq Khan compares Scottish nationalism with racism

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said today that Westminster should not block a referendum if it is approved in Holyrood, where power is finely balanced.

The SNP are a minority government, with both Labour and the Conservatives agreed that there should not be a second vote, but critically, Scotland's Green party may also lend Sturgeon the support she needs to get a second vote on the books.

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