British, Scottish leaders to meet amid independence dispute

Speaking in Glasgow ahead of an hour-long meeting with first minister Nicola Sturgeon, the British prime minister said it would be "unfair" to call an independence referendum before Brexit negotiations were over.

Lawmakers from the Green Party joined forces with members of the Scottish National Party to back Sturgeon's controversial measure, which passed with 69 votes to 59. She added: "The people of Scotland are sovereign, and they will be given a choice on their own future".

Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May met in Glasgow on Monday to discuss a second independence referendum and the UK's exit from the European Union.

Ms. Sturgeon will now make a formal request for a referendum but she needs approval from the British government and parliament in London to do so and Ms.

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A UK Government source told i the Prime Minister had not changed her position and would rebuff Ms Sturgeon's approach "fairly promptly" after it is received later this week.

A debate in the Scottish parliament before voting on Sturgeon's proposal was suspended last week when an attacker, later identified as British-born Khalid Masood, ploughed his vehicle into pedestrians and tried to force his way into parliament in London, killing four.

The First Minister said it would be "indefensible" for the UK Government to stand in the way of a referendum.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that she would return to Holyrood after the Easter recess in three weeks and set out her next step.

Sinn Fein, which won the election earlier this month, has called for a Scottish-type independence vote.

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The first minister noted that uncertainty of Brexit terms hindered holding the second independence referendum.

In a statement, the Scotland Office said the United Kingdom would not be entering negotiations on the Scottish government's proposal and instead is focusing on the Brexit talks with the EU.

This, a day before May triggers Article 50, formally beginning the UK's exit from the EU.

May has said "now is not the time" and insisted her focus was on getting a good Brexit deal that would work for every part of the UK.

Mrs. May has said "now is not the time" for a Scottish independence referendum, as the Brexit process is due to begin.

Theresa May heads to Scotland today for the last time before triggering Article 50 on Wednesday.

At one stage, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told Sturgeon to "sit down" during a heated exchange with the Scottish First Minister.

The future status of its frontier with the Republic of Ireland, where border controls could return once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, is a key issue in the Brexit talks.

May has repeatedly said that "now is not the time" for another independence ballot.

But Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has said Labour will not support any Brexit deal unless it meets the party's "six tests".


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