The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has responded to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that the Scottish Government will seek permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The First Minister announced that she would put a vote to the Scottish Parliament in the week of 20th March, which, if successful, would allow the Scottish Government to ask the UK Government for an Order in Council under Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to permit the holding of a second referendum. The First Minister indicated that her preferred timing for any such referendum would be between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
The Prime Minister stated: "My message is clear – now is not the time. I think we should be working to get the right deal for Scotland and the UK with our future partnership with the European Union. It would be unfair to the people of Scotland that they would be being asked to make a crucial decision without the information they need to make that decision."
Section 30 Order
It should be pointed out that the Prime Minister’s comments do not constitute an official, definitive response on the matter, as the Scottish Government has yet to table a motion in the Scottish Parliament and put it to a vote. Only if that vote is won and the Scottish Government then formally sought a Section 30 Order would the UK Government then be obliged to respond.