NICOLA Sturgeon will be barred from holding any "legal referendum" on independence, the Scottish Secretary has said – as he lambasted the SNP's currency plans as amounting to "chocolate money".

David Mundell insisted the First Minister would not be handed any of the levers to hold a second independence vote that were agreed in 2014. 

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He made the comments during a speech to the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen, where he accused the SNP of wasting the potential of Holyrood.

Mr Mundell said: "In 2014, Scotland rejected the SNP's plans for independence. 

"Yet last week, Nicola Sturgeon launched yet another tone-death campaign, just in time for Ruth [Davidson's] return.

"We in the Scottish Conservatives know that we represent a majority of Scots when we tell the SNP that they should abandon their plans for a second independence referendum.

"But let me be absolutely clear: if Nicola Sturgeon continues with her indyref2 plans and asks the UK Government's agreement to hold a referendum, the answer will be no.

"No section 30 order, no second Edinburgh Agreement, no legal referendum. 

"The people of Scotland said no in 2014, and they meant it."

Mr Mundell accused the SNP of being obsessed with independence at the expense of key issues such as education and the economy.

And he hit out at the party's plans to eventually introduce a new Scottish currency after independence. 

He said: "I'm very clear: my constituents don't want Nicola Sturgeon's chocolate money under any name."

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The Scottish Secretary said independence would take "£10 billion out of our public services – real money, not chocolate money". 

Elsewhere, he argued Holyrood would never achieve its potential "while politics in Scotland is stuck in an endless indyref loop", and insisted the only way to stop a second independence referendum for good is "to make Ruth First Minister of Scotland".

Mr Mundell said the record of the Conservative Government is "building rather than breaking devolution, as the SNP are intent on doing".