Nicola Sturgeon second independence referendum now more likely than ever by 2020
Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday programme, Ms Sturgeon said Mrs May’s refusal to share her negotiating position on Brexit with the public or the House of Commons was “unsustainable, untenable and frankly unacceptable”.She added: “The leave campaign was all about bringing back control and now the House of Commons and the wider public are almost being told to butt out and mind there own business when it comes to these things, and I think we saw in the House of Commons last week that there is not a lot of support for that kind of approach.” She is due to meet Mrs May in London next Monday and warned the Prime Minister it was time for her to demonstrate she is serious about Scotland’s voice being heard, after it voted overwhelming to remain in Europe.The First Minister accused Mrs May of “not fully honouring” the promise she made to listen to Scotland on Brexit during a flying visit to Edinburgh days after she became Prime Minister.Asked if she would anticipate a second referendum before 2020, she replied: “I think it’s highly likely, given the situation we’re in, I said that actually the morning after the EU referendum and nothing has changed my mind.” Theresa May will meet Nicola Sturgeon next weekCredit:Reuters Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Nicola Sturgeon on the Marr showCredit:Reuters However, David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme that recent polling showing support for a Yes vote had still not reached a majority, and added that since she started “ramping up” talk about independence, support for a new vote had gone downIn a separate interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am going to stand up for Scotland’s voice being heard, I don’t think it is right for Scotland to be dragged out of Europe, dragged out of the single market, with all of the potentially ruinous consequences for our economy when we didn’t vote for that.“And if that’s the prospect that faces us then I do think Scotland would have the right to decide whether it wants to do that or allow that to happen, or whether it wants to follow a different, and in my view a better, path.”She avoided giving a direct answer when asked whether the SNP would take indyref2 off the table if the UK Government took note of Scotland’s position and there was a soft Brexit.However, her new deputy, Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, said on the BBC’s Sunday Politics that if the UK Government delivered on the SNP’s priorities “we wouldn’t need to go ahead with a referendum”.Speaking the day after her party’s conference ended in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon delivered the same message on three different political programmes on Sunday morning and confirmed that her MPs in Westminster would back a vote forcing Mrs May to come forward with her Brexit plan.On the subject of indyref2, she added: “We have to see the Prime Minister be serious about listening to those other options because if Scotland really is, as we have been told repeatedly we are, an equal partner in the UK, Theresa May may is serious about protecting the UK, then it is time for her to turn those words into action and actually demonstrate that Scotland’s voice is heard and our interests can be protected within the UK. We have not seen much of that form the prime minister so far so i hope we see more of it in the weeks to come.”Speaking on the Sunday Politics programme, Mr Mundell promised to look at any proposals put forward by the Scottish Government, but said it was difficult to see how a separate trade deal could be achieved.He added that in the four months since the EU vote, the SNP had not brought forward any specific proposals.Meanwhile, Professor Michael Keating, a leading constitutional expert, told the Telegraph earlier that Ms Sturgeon’s demand that Scotland remained in the single market was “not possible” because the EU creates a border around its single market outside of which trade barriers and tariffs apply. If Scotland was inside and England outside, he said that would create a “hard” economic border between the two restricting the movement of goods, services and people. Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes a second independence referendum in the next four years now looks even more certain than it did immediately after the Brexit vote when she warned it was “highly likely”.The First Minister said nothing had changed her mind since June, adding: “If anything, what has happened since then has probably made me think that even more so than I did the morning after the (EU) referendum”.At the same time, the SNP leader insisted she was “absolutely serious” about exploring other options which would include the SNP working with Labour, the Lib Dems and “moderate” Tories in the House of Commons to try to avert a “hard Brexit”.She also said she planned in the next few weeks to bring forward proposals that could allow Scotland to remain part of the Union while also staying in the single market – despite constitutional experts describing the proposal as “impossible”.