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Conservative Davidson says 'no popular support' for independence vote

04 March 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to say if Scotland will make decisions over its own agricultural policies after Brexit.

The Scottish government must end their "tunnel vision" on independence, Theresa May has said as she launched a brutal attack on Nicola Sturgeon considers calling for the Scottish people to be given a second referendum on leaving the UK.

The Prime Minister issued a rallying call for the union insisting the "case has never been stronger" during an address to delegates at the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow today. "We can not allow our United Kingdom to drift apart", she said.

May will tell party members: "Politics is not a game and the management of devolved public services in Scotland is too important to be neglected. And we need to be equally determined to ensure that the truth about our United Kingdom is heard loudly and clearly".

May accused the SNP, which controls the devolved administration in Edinburgh, of holding an "obsession" with independence and neglecting other domestic issues.

And she will slam the SNP's performance on education, blaming failings on their "obsession" with a United Kingdom split. "She doesn't have a mandate for it, she doesn't have popular support for it and I think she will take a pretty big hit when you see how many people across Scotland don't want to be dragged back to a second independence referendum".

"And where we have offered compromise, we have been met by a brick wall of Tory intransigence".

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"I think that the SNP often treat politics as a game".

She also added that arguments for independence are now weaker than before, and any referendum should be postponed until the Brexit process is complete - so people know what they're voting for.

Ahead of the PM's speech, Ms Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Government's approach since the European Union referendum has been to offer compromise and to seek consensus at every turn. The SNP Government demands further powers for the Scottish Parliament, but fails to pass powers on to local people in Scotland's villages, towns and cities".

"Where we have spoken the language of consensus and co-operation, theirs has been the language of Westminster diktat".

Downing Street is already preparing for another vote on Scotland's future - and Mrs May's speech could be taken as the opening salvo of a battle which, alongside Brexit, may shape politics north of the border for years.

Opening the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow on Friday morning, the prime minister accused the Scottish government of "stoking-up endless constitutional grievance" at the expense of governing the country.

Conservative Davidson says 'no popular support' for independence vote