Nicola Sturgeon: Blocking IndyRef2 will destroy United Kingdom unity

Prime Minister Theresa May wants 'more united Britain'

Nicola Sturgeon is to warn the Prime Minister she will "shatter beyond repair" the notion that the United Kingdom is a partnership of equals if she turns down a request from the Scottish Parliament to hold a second independence referendum.

"All our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the European Union", May said, adding that holding a Scotland referendum while EU exit talks are still underway would "make it more hard for us to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the U.K".

Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the "Barroso doctrine" continued to apply - a reference to former commission president Jose Manuel Barroso that if one part of an European Union country became an independent state it would have to apply for European Union membership.

Scottish nationalists have called for a new referendum and accused the prime minister of ignoring their demands in her preparations for divorce talks with the EU.

. The Scottish Parliament next week will have its say.

Just in case some people in Whitehall aren't listening: Scotland's referendum is going to happen, and no UK Prime Minister... should dare to stand in the way of Scotland's democracy.

Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, he said the Scottish Parliament would discuss the request to hold another Scottish independence referendum next week and he was confident a vote to ask for one would be passed.

But Mrs. May said her message to Ms Sturgeon was clear - "now is not the time".

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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.

Theresa May says she will fight to sustain this "precious Union" at the Conservative Party's Welsh Spring Conference in Cardiff.

The SNP would refuse to nominate a successor and hope the Scottish Green party, which holds the balance of power at Holyrood, would refuse to support a ruling coalition involving Labour, the Tories or the Lib Dems able to take over.

The SNP argue we must break up the United Kingdom because we are leaving the EU. May said on Thursday that it is "not the time" for a Scottish breakaway campaign when Britain needs to unite to make a success of its divorce from the EU.

Mr Swinney said it would then be up to Mrs May to "recognise the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland".

"If you can establish it's the Brexit process is making them feel differently, I'd say that's gold for the Yes side in terms of how they win people over".

May is now free to invoke Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, triggering two years of exit negotiations. She was still keen to "work our way through" her disagreements with May, she said, arguing that they both agreed the referendum should not be held now. In the context of the peers agreeing to allow the passage of the bill unamended, Britain gets posited on what the Brexit secretary, David Davis, has called "the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation".

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