Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said the UK government intends to refuse another independence referendum in Scotland for over ten years. 

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Jack said it would be "no for a generation".

And when asked to define a generation, he said: "Is it 25 years or is it 40 years? You tell me. But it's certainly not six years, nor 10".

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However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and SNP leader for Westminster Ian Blackford have hit back at Mr Jack's comments. 

Nicola Sturgeon has since reaffirmed that power "belongs to the people."

In response to the BBC interview with Alister Jack, she said: "As we're seeing across the Atlantic just now, politicians who rage against democracy don't prevail.

"Let's not dignify this rubbish.

"Instead let's keep making and winning the case for independence.

She added: "Power doesn't belong to politicians - it belongs to the people."

Over the course of the last few months opinion polls have consistently suggest that the majority of Scots are now in favour of independence, while the UK government has been steadfast in its opposition to the idea of another referendum.

A new opinion poll suggests support for Scottish independence is at 54%, with the SNP taking the largest share of the vote in the Holyrood elections.

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Survation contacted an online panel of 1,071 people between October 28 and November 4.

Respondents were asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow with the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’, how would you vote?”

The poll put support for Yes at 54% and No at 46% when undecideds were removed.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Ian Blackford suggested that "Alister should listen to what people in Scotland are saying."

He said: "Increasingly people in Scotland are saying that they want to have that independence referendum, and support for independence in every poll - I think we’ve had 12 polls now over the course of the last few months have shown a majority for that.

"We can’t have a tin-eared secretary of state or Westminster government.

He added: "The government in London may be saying something today, but they’ll be saying something very different after the election next year."

"We will have that referendum. Alister Jack is not going to stop the people of Scotland having their say."

Mr Blackford predicted “very strong momentum towards independence”

He said: "I’m looking forward to the election next year. We will be having that referendum.

"And again I look forward to that pathway for Scotland back into Europe. There is a bright future ahead of us out of this chaos."

Speaking on BBC's Good Morning Scotland this morning, Mr Jack said: "We don't need a divisive referendum.

"We've had two referndums recently, they've been very divisive for our society, they've created a lot of uncertainty, it's very bad for the economy, it's bad for jobs.

"We need to be focusing on our economic recovery from a global pandemic, not worrying about constitutional issues, which, when most people are polled, actually are six or seven on their list of priorities. 

"They concern themselves more about health, education, jobs, their livelihoods, their pensions."

He added: "We had a referendum, it was 'once in a generation', and as a democrat I respect the outcome of referendums. 

"We're delivering on Brexit, and we're respecting the outcome of the 2014 referendum on independence."