Brexit talks will determine second poll, says historian

In her speech at the two-day Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow, May said Sturgeon should stop "stoking up grievance" and focus on "strengthening and sustaining the bonds that unite us " rather than embarking on another divisive referendum.

May also said that no decisions now taken by the Scottish parliament will be removed from it when Britain leaves the EU.

Should Sturgeon call a second referendum, May believes there will be a backlash - and she is not willing to take the blame.

"As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland".

Sturgeon then said that Scotland would consider taking the second vote on independence, claiming that the Brexit referendum outcome neglected Scotland's willingness to stay in the European Union.

"There is no economic case for breaking up the United Kingdom, or of loosening the ties which bind us together".

In a speech created to counter head-on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's moves towards a second Scottish independence referendum, Mrs May said she would adopt a new "collective responsibility" that meant every decision must be taken with the Union in mind.

She said the SNP was "a party resolutely focused on just one thing: independence".

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"I am determined to ensure that as we leave the European Union, we do so as one United Kingdom, which prospers outside the European Union as one United Kingdom", the prime minister told the Scottish Conservative conference.

She implied the entire devolution settlement of 1998, which set up the Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly, was now up for renegotiation, risking a furious row with the Scottish government.

"It would offer Scotland a proper choice on whether or not to be part of a post Brexit UK - a UK that is undoubtedly on a fundamentally different path today than that envisaged in 2014".

The premier lashed out at the Scottish National Party (SNP)'s attempts to launch a new independence bid amid the Scottish Labour's inaction.

In a speech Tuesday, she accused the United Kingdom government of ignoring Scotland's views and failing to compromise as it prepares to trigger Article 50, kicking off the formal process of leaving the European Union.

When the Prime Minister began talking about the lack of an economic case for Scottish independence, it was hard to escape a sense of deja vu.

The SNP accused May of hypocrisy, for criticising Scottish demands for independence while seeking a "hard Brexit". While three in five Scottish voters backed Remain, the polls suggest that if a referendum were held this month, the result would be much the same as last time: 55pc of Scots would opt to remain in the Union.

  • Adam Floyd