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British PM rules out new Scottish independence referendum before Brexit

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-16 21:40
LONDON -- British Prime Minister Theresa May ruled out Thursday a call for a Scottish independence referendum while Brexit negotiations are going on with Brussels.

May used a television interview in London to respond to a demand by Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon for a referendum before a Brexit deal is reached.

She said now is not the time for Scotland to have an independence referendum and should instead work with the the government to seek a good deal with the EU for Scotland and the rest of Britain.

May said: "Just at this appoint all of our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the EU to get the right deal."

The announcement will put May on a collision course with Sturgeon and the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).

The Scottish parliament is to debate its referendum call in Edinburgh next week. The SNP say Scotland voted to remain in the EU by a 62-38 margin, compared to a 52-48 margin across Britain.

In 2014 the people of Scotland voted in favour of remaining part of Britain in what was described as a "once in a generation" vote among Scots.
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