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Theresa May turns the tables on Nicola Sturgeon over a second referendum

Scottish leader says Britain's hard Brexit stance raises chance of new independence vote

THE Scottish Government has no mandate to call a second independence referendum in Scotland, despite spending the last nine moths "ramping up" support for such a ballot, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said.

Sturgeon has called for Scotland to stay in the European Union single market, despite the United Kingdom voting to leave and a "hard Brexit" planned, warning another vote on independence is "all but inevitable" if that doesn't happen.

"Before the Scottish election Nicola Sturgeon said if she didn't move public opinion she would have, even by her own measure, she would have no right to call another one".

The Scottish government have stated that they would need to seek approval from Westminster before holding a second referendum.

"I am just as concerned that young people in Dundee get a good start in life as I am about young people in Doncaster and Dartford".

As the prime minister prepares to head north to speak at the Scottish Conservative conference this week, it has emerged that the SNP government raised the issue of a second referendum at a private meeting with her administration on Wednesday.

The paper the Scottish Government produced outlining options for keeping Scotland in the single market " is a genuine attempt at finding a compromise solution", the SNP leader insisted.

Mrs May said she is "looking very closely" at the document, adding that she intends to create a "good trade agreement that works for the whole of the United Kingdom, but crucially a trade agreement that works for Scotland as well". "The SNP are playing politics like it is a game, but it is not a game".

While there has been no official statement from United Kingdom officials in this late hour on Sunday, the prospect of even more politcal chaos, not to mention the sudden possibility of Scotland declaring independence has sent cable into a tailspin, with sterling plunging 70 pips in thin trade, sliding below 1.24 on the news.

It is "very clear" the Scottish people do not want another independence vote, according to May.

"While Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon are both obsessed with sowing division, Scottish Labour believes that our country is divided enough and that together we're stronger".

"Scottish schools, which once led the world in setting the highest standards of attainment, are now outperformed in every category by schools in England, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Poland", said May.

"And yet the SNP propose Scottish independence, which would wrench Scotland out of its biggest market", she said.

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.