Scottish living standards at risk if country breaks from United Kingdom, says May

Although Nicola Sturgeon has said a second independence referendum is "highly likely", a recent poll suggests that the Scottish people are inclined to disagree.

In a speech created to counter head-on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's moves towards a second Scottish independence referendum, Mrs May said she would adopt a new "collective responsibility" that meant every decision must be taken with the Union in mind. Theresa May insisted there is no economic case for breaking up the United Kingdom.

The First Minister insists she has a "cast iron mandate" for such a vote, after the SNP Holyrood election manifesto in 2016 said a second referendum could be held if there was a material change in circumstances from the 2014 vote, such as Scotland being removed from the European Union against its wishes. "We must avoid any unintended consequences for the coherence and integrity of a devolved United Kingdom as a result of our leaving the EU".

Nicola Sturgeon's chances of winning a second vote on Scottish independence will depend on the progress of Brexit talks and how well her party tackles economic challenges, according to a leading historian.

"We are four nations, but at heart one people", she said.

The first minister looks set to call a vote by the Scottish parliament — following next months SNP conference and triggering of article 50 — to strengthen her mandate to stage a second referendum.

She said the First Minister had not yet asked for a Section 30 order, granting Holyrood the authority to hold an independence referendum, with Ms Davidson refusing to say if the UK Government should block such a request.

"Theresa May has tied herself to Brexit as being the solution to everything, she's only got one big problem and that big problem is Scotland".

"Theresa May is guilty of mind-boggling hypocrisy - it is her government's constitutional obsession with a hard Brexit which is directly threatening Scottish jobs and livelihoods".

"As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland". In fact, the European Union comes third after the rest of the United Kingdom, and the rest of the world as a market for Scottish goods.

"While the SNP propose that decision-making should remain in Brussels, we will use the opportunity of Brexit to ensure that more decisions are devolved back into the hands of the Scottish people".

In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, 55% voted in favor of remaining in the United Kingdom.