Nicola Sturgeon reveals she wants telly debate with Theresa May over IndyRef2

And Scottish MSPs needed to be aware of her veto before they vote next week authorising this referendum, less than three years after the first plebiscite.

Sturgeon said Scotland should have the chance to stay in the EU's lucrative single market and keep an open-door policy to immigrants after voting to remain, and has criticised May for failing to consult the Scottish government on her strategy.

May today told ITV that "now is not the time" for a second vote, and speaking tomorrow she will commit herself to negotiating a Brexit deal for all of the UK's constituent nations.

"And to be talking about an independence referendum will, I think, make it more hard for us to be able to get the right deal for Scotland, and the right deal for the UK".

Mrs May said the focus should be on securing the best possible Brexit deal.

She also said Sturgeon was setting "Scotland on a course for uncertainty and division", and accused her of playing politics with her country's future, a quote here submitted without comment.

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond warned the prime minister that her "finger-wagging" would backfire spectacularly and propel more voters towards independence. In reply to May's response, Sturgeon stated that prime minister's decision was undemocratic and "proof positive that the Tories fear the verdict of the Scottish people".

The Scottish first minister also re-tweeted a post from an MP from the SNP, Callum McCaig, who pointed out that the European Union had let the United Kingdom have a referendum on its membership. The proposal brought forward is not fair, people will not be able to make an informed choice.

The pound continued to hover around an eight-week low against a slew of other currencies on Wednesday morning, pressured by lasting uncertainty over when Theresa May will trigger Article 50, and the prospect of a new Scottish independence referendum.

May's blunt intervention is likely to goad SNP activists into an even more energetic independence campaign this summer as they seek to build support for a referendum, starting at the SNP's spring conference this weekend.

"If we were to keep to the First Minister's timetable this is exactly what would happen in Scotland too".

Earlier this week, Sturgeon announced she plans to ask the Scottish Parliament next week to back her call for a new referendum to decide if Scotland should remain as part of Britain. We will not agree to a referendum.

A separate Scotland faces spending years outside of the European Union single market even if it votes for independence, Iceland has warned.

  • Todd Kelly