Theresa May accuses Nicola Sturgeon of playing a 'game' with second Scottish independence referendum

Jon Stone

Theresa May has accused Nicola Sturgeon of playing a "game" by calling for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Scottish First Minister on Monday morning said that a second poll would give Scotland a choice between Ms May's Brexit deal and remaining in the EU as an independent country.

The Prime Minister did not rule out granting a second referendum to Scotland but derided the idea.

"The tunnel vision that the SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable. It sets Scotland on a course for more uncertainty and division, creating huge uncertainty," the PM said.

"This is at a time when the Scottish people, the majority of the Scottish people, do not want a second independence referendum.

"Instead of playing politics with the future of our country the Scottish government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people of Scotland. Politics is not a game."

The UK Government has refused to give MPs or voters another meaningful say on Brexit once the deal is finalised.

Under Section 30 of the Scotland Act UK Parliament would also have to vote to grant Scotland the powers to hold a second independence referendum. Ms Sturgeon has said the UK Parliament should respect the will of the Scottish Parliament.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that there was "no appetite for another referendum" but that Labour's MPs at Westminster would not block a "democratic decision" to hold one by the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Sturgeon said this morning: "The option of no change is no longer available. But we will give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want."

“I believe that it would be wrong for Scotland to be taken down a path that it has no control over regardless of the consequences for our economy, for our society, for our place in the world, for our very sense of who we are as a country. That would be wrong, and therefore my judgement is that we should have that choice," she said.

"I believe that in a referendum the Scottish people will opt for independence, but that will be the choice of the Scottish people and I’ve been very clear that that will be an informed choice.”