'Muddle on muddle!' Tories cheer as PM DESTROYS Sturgeon's 'OBSESSIVE' independence bid

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May slapped down Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon's proposal to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence before Britain completes its own divorce from Europe.

MSPs are expected to back the First Minister's call for a Section 30 order to be granted when Holyrood votes on the issue on Wednesday. It would be illegal for the Scottish parliament or the Scottish government to call a referendum without authority from Westminster. She was still keen to "work our way through" her disagreements with May, she said, arguing that they both agreed the referendum should not be held now.

Monday night's forward movement for Ms May gets neutralised by her immediate criticism of the fresh initiative of the Scottish National Party (SNP) ~ "The party had a tunnel vision on breaking away from the UK".

We can expect Ms Sturgeon not only to rally the SNP troops tomorrow - which won't be hard - but to try to rally the country to her cause. She also said Sturgeon was setting "Scotland on a course for uncertainty and division", and accused her of playing politics with her country's future, a quote here submitted without comment.

She will also offer to compromise on the timing of another referendum, saying she would be "happy" to delay a vote until after the United Kingdom has left the EU.

"Most of all, a new third option can unify our country and end the bitter and divisive Yes v No conflict that will continue to rip us apart".

"We will ask Parliament to agree that this choice should be exercised at a time when we know the terms of Brexit but before it is too late to take a different path". One message from the independence and European Union referendums was that people wanted more control over their lives.

The former prime minister will suggest the Scottish government be given the power to set Value-Added Tax rates and sign global treaties. I don't think that would be fair.

Mr Swinney said it would then be up to Mrs May to "recognise the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland".

The prime minister was speaking in Cardiff as she tours Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in an attempt to create a Brexit consensus ahead of Article 50.

She continued: "It's now clear, that using Brexit as the pre-text to engineer a second independence referendum has been the SNP's sole objective ever since last June".

His attack comes as Ms May prepares to speak at her party's spring conference in Cardiff and after she wrote in The Times this morning claiming the SNP wants "to force" the United Kingdom government into agreeing to a referendum that would be unfair to the Scottish people. Now she has changed her mind and appears to be trying to engage in some kind of horse-trading with the UK Government.

Gordon Brown is to set out a "third option" for Scotland's future, based on more powers being transferred to Holyrood after Brexit. Sturgeon could only trigger a snap election by resigning as first minister if she wanted to win an even larger or clearer mandate to demand a referendum.