Prime Minister Theresa May rejected Scotland’s bid to hold a referendum on independence before the U.K. leaves the European Union, the latest twist in the increasingly acrimonious fight over Brexit with the nationalist government in Edinburgh.
While not ruling one out eventually, May’s team said they would not even discuss a new referendum at a time when the focus was on getting the best Brexit deal for the whole U.K. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday demanded the power to call a plebiscite by spring 2019 on whether Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, should break away.
“My message is very clear: now is not the time,” May said in an interview with ITV News in London on Thursday. Scots shouldn’t have to vote on independence before Brexit is settled, May said. “They would be being asked to make a crucial decision without the information they need.”
Sturgeon responded by saying that stance was “undemocratic and unsustainable” and she would push ahead with the legal process to demand the right to hold a referendum. “History may look back on today and see it as the day the fate of the union was sealed,” Sturgeon told BBC Scotland.