Fighting for "precious union", UK's May rebuffs Scottish independence ambitions

While Sturgeon has pledged to hold another referendum, former Respect MP and host of RT's Sputnik program George Galloway has cast doubt on Scotland's chances of becoming a member of the European Union once independent, claiming the country is "far from being in love with the European Union in the way the SNP like to think".

While further comment must await developments in the intervening fortnight ~ till the end of March ~ the government can not but be unnerved by Ms Sturgeon flagging the demand for a second vote of Scottish independence. after voters in Scotland had opposed Brexit on June 23 past year.

In an escalation of the war of words, the PM told Tory activists in Cardiff, that the First Minister and her party were in a "muddle" and warned the break up of the United Kingdom would be "bad for us all".

"The UK government has refused to give them certainty and give them right to remain. I will share them with the people of Scotland and the people of Scotland will have the right to know them once we are at that stage". "They're part of the fabric of Scottish society just as everyone else is".

Sturgeon, the SNP leader, told reporters on Monday a referendum would happen between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, precisely because the terms for the UK's exit from the European Union will be clear by that time.

The SNP hoped to present its conference, which began in Aberdeen today, as being all about celebrating their achievements after 10 years in office, and setting out plans for the future on domestic issues like heath and education, with a series of ministerial announcements.

Speaking a day after May rejected her call for the power to hold a referendum in 18 months, the first minister said there were other options open to her if May continued to refuse to pass on the powers needed to stage a legally constituted poll.

That means Westminster granting Holyrood the power to hold the second referendum, and be able to choose the timing.

"It could put a point or two on it [the Yes vote]", said Mark Diffley.

"The SNP will fall short of what they got in 2014. Decided for us by an increasingly right-wing, Brexit-obsessed Tory government", she will say.

He is expected to say: "The third option, a patriotic Scottish way and free from the absolutism of the SNP and the do-nothing-ism of the Tories, is now essential because post-Brexit realities make the status quo redundant and require us to break with the past".

The SNP argue we must break up the United Kingdom because we are leaving the EU.

"Since the Brexit vote there's been an enormous shift in attitude and some of them have to come to me offering their apologies for making the wrong choice".

I obviously welcome these commitments from the government, but it is clear that nationalists, of whatever stripe, both in Scotland and Northern Ireland, are interested in only one thing: their ideological obsession with 'independence'.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that people should first learn the results of the Brexit talks before asking for another referendum, stressing that it was not the right time for such a vote to be held.

"No, that's not the basis on which this decision is being made", said Mundell.

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