The Prime Minister has rejected calls by the SNP for a second Scottish independence referendum before Britain officially leaves the European Union.
In a statement, Theresa May said that “now is not the time” for a Scottish referendum, insisting that the government needs to focus all its efforts on the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to push for a second independence referendum on Monday, through passing Section 30 in the Scottish parliament, which would initiate the process of setting up such a referendum.
The surprise announcement shocked downing street and, according to some political journalists, delayed the triggering of Article 50.
The Scottish First Minister had hoped to hold the referendum before the Brexit deal is finalised, saying she wants to give the Scottish people “a choice” between being in or out of the European Union.
But Theresa May has rejected the plan completely.
“As we embark on the process of negotiating a new relationship with the European Union, I’m going to be fighting for every person, every family, every business across the whole of the United Kingdom. That’s my focus and i think it should be the focus of all of us,” the Prime Minister said.
She went on to say that the efforts of the SNP should be focused on getting “the right deal for Scotland in our negotiations with the European Union.”
“Right now we should be working together, not pulling apart,” said May, adding that “now is not the time” to discuss a Scottish independence referendum.
Nicola Sturgeon responded to the statement, saying “the Prime Minister should respect the will of the Scottish Parliament” if it votes in favour of a referendum next week.
— STV News (@STVNews) March 16, 2017