DEREK Mackay has refused to rule out pushing ahead with a second independence referendum in the event that Brexit is called off.

The Finance Secretary insisted Scotland had to leave its options open, and accused Westminster of not giving “a damn” about the people of Scotland.

It came after Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a second referendum within the next two years if Brexit goes ahead.

She said a new Holyrood bill would pave the way for “a choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation” before the Scottish election in 2021.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Mackay said the SNP was “fulfilling the mandate that if Scotland was taken out of the EU against Scotland’s will, that we would have the right to have a referendum”.

But pressed on whether a second referendum would be off the table if the UK does not leave the EU, he insisted Scotland should leave its options open.

He said: “What we’re saying is that Scotland should have the right to choose. We should keep our options open.”

Asked if a customs union would be enough to rule out a referendum, he said: “The Scottish Government and the SNP has set out a compromise position in relation to Brexit.

“That does involve not just a customs union, but the single market and freedom of movement as well.”

Mr Mackay was then asked whether achieving this scenario would prevent a second vote taking place.

He repeated that Scotland "has to have its options open".

He added: “We have to have the right to choose our future, rather than leave it in the hands of Westminster, who have shown they do not give a damn for the people of Scotland.”