THERESA May has refused to say whether or not the UK Government will facilitate Nicola Sturgeon's call for a second Scottish independence referendum.

In response to the First Minister's intention to seek a so-called Section 30 from Westminster to enable a second poll to take place, a UK Government spokesman simply points out how polling evidence suggests most Scots do not want another referendum and how divisive it would be and that another poll would cause "huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time".

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Recently, Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, told The Herald how the UK Government would not facilitate a second poll, saying the Scottish Government should "forget it".

Another option being considered in Whitehall has been UK ministers agreeing to a Section 30 Order but putting a so-called "sunrise clause" in it, so that it could not take place until after the Brexit deal has been sealed ie after March 2019.

However, insiders in Whitehall have made clear the Prime Minister does not want another referendum on Scotland's future in this parliament. One said: "They have had their referendum; that's it."

A UK Government spokesman said: “As the Prime Minister has set out, the UK Government seeks a future partnership with the EU that works for the whole of the United Kingdom. The UK Government will negotiate that agreement but we will do so taking into account the interests of all of the nations of the UK. 

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"We have been working closely with all the devolved administrations; listening to their proposals, and recognising the many areas of common ground, including workers’ rights, the status of EU citizens living in the UK and our security from crime and terrorism."

He went on: “Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum, which the Scottish Government defined as a ‘once in a generation’ vote. The evidence clearly shows that a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum. Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time.

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“The Scottish Government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people in Scotland,” he added.

Meantime, Jeremy Corbyn, who sparked controversy in Labour ranks after suggesting another independence poll would be "absolutely fine" but then claimed he had been mischievously misreported, said: "The 2014 Scottish Independence referendum was billed as a once in a generation event. The result was decisive and there is no appetite for another referendum. 

"Labour believes it would be wrong to hold another so soon and Scottish Labour will oppose it in the Scottish Parliament. If, however, the Scottish Parliament votes for one, Labour will not block that democratic decision at Westminster. If there is another referendum, Labour will oppose independence because it is not in the interests of any part of the country to break up the UK," he said.