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Mundell: UK Government will not hold talks on new vote

Any requests for a section 30 agreement will be declined, says Scottish secretary.

The UK Government will not enter into any negotiations for a second independence referendum at the moment, the Scottish secretary has said.

David Mundell made the announcement in Edinburgh shortly after the Prime Minister said "now is not the time" for a fresh vote on independence.

The Scottish secretary says he does not "fear" losing a referendum as the case for staying part of the UK "is stronger" than it was in 2014.

Mundell said: "This argument isn't about mandates, it's about holding a referendum on established criteria which were set on in the Edinburgh Agreement.

"That established that a referendum must be legal, fair and decisive. The proposal brought forward is not fair, people will not be able to make an informed choice.

"Neither is there public or political support for such a referendum. Therefore, we will not be entering into discussions or negotiations about a section 30 agreement and any request at this time will be declined."

On Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a second referendum should be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 as the UK Government has not agreed with its plans to keep Scotland in the single European market even if the rest of the country leaves.

The SNP will call on MSPs to back there plans for a referendum and a section 30 order - the legal instrument for Holyrood to be able to create one - next week.

Mundell said any request will be rejected by Downing Street at this time.

The Scottish secretary said the Prime Minister's announcement will help "inform" next week's debate.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1383210-theresa-may-rejects-nicola-sturgeon-s-call-for-indyref2/ | default

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