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"Now is not the time" for second Scots referendum: May

16 March 2017

"Now is not the time" for a second referendum on Scottish independence, Prime Minister Theresa May said today.

Next week the Scottish Government will seek Holyrood's approval for a request to the Westminster Parliament to grant the power enabling the devolved Parliament to organise a second poll. But speaking to the BBC, Mrs May said the focus at the present time should be on the Brexit negotiations, in which she would be seeking the best deal for all parts of the UK, and it would weaken the UK's negotiating position were an independence referendum to be in prospect.

She commented: "So when the SNP Government say that now is the time to start talking about a second independence referendum, I say that just at this point all of our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the European Union about our future relationship.

"To be talking about an independence referendum would I think make it more difficult for us to be able to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK."

Click here to access a recording.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in response that her proposal was "to give the people of Scotland a choice once Brexit is clear but before it is too late", and any bid to block that would be "untenable, undemocratic and totally unsustainable".


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