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03 February, 2017

London rejects another independence referendum in Scotland

UK Prime Minister Theresa May believes that Scotland's effort to secede from Britain was settled by an independence referendum in 2014

"We believe that this issue was settled in 2014. Recent polls don't suggest that there has been a big change in the views around a second referendum," a spokeswoman for May told reporters on Thursday.

May has repeatedly said she does not believe there is a need for a second referendum after Scotland, one of the four nations of the United Kingdom, voted 55 to 44 percent in 2014 to remain part of Britain.

But calls have been growing by the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum after Scots voted to keep their European Union membership while Britain as a whole voted to leave the bloc in a referendum held in June. Despite Scotland now facing the prospect of Brexit, support for Scottish independence is still at around 45 percent as it was in 2014, polls indicate.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday it would be a "disastrous move" for May's ruling Conservative Party to block an independence referendum.

Any Tory (Conservative) bid to block a referendum would be a democratic outrage, but would only succeed in boosting support for both a referendum and for independence itself – something which the Prime Minister has previously indicated she understands all too well,” a Scottish government spokesman said.

British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday that London will not help Scotland hold another referendum on seceding from the UK. "Forget it," Fallon told the Herald Newspaper when asked whether he would facilitate a new independence referendum. “(Sturgeon) has to respect the decision of Scotland to stay inside the UK in 2014 and the decision of the UK to leave the EU. Respect works two ways,” he told the Herald Newspaper.

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