In an interview ahead of the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Theresa May urged Nicola Sturgeon to stop focusing on independence stating that the issue had been settled by a “clear vote” of the Scottish people in 2014.
Mrs May said that the internal market of the UK was far more important to Scotland’s economy than the EU and that the SNP focussing on independence would impact other issues.
However, the First Minister hit back in a post clearly aimed at the Prime Minister.
A post linking to the comments from Mrs May from Nicola Sturgeon read: “In the last two days alone The Scottish Government has delivered a pay increase for police, put dignity into disability assessments, shown that we are building affordable houses at faster rate than UK, and more...but always glad to hear from our single issue Brexit PM”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had previously said she will set out her thinking on the possible timing of a second independence referendum once the terms of Brexit become clear.
She had called for a referendum immediately after the Brexit vote - but the plan was shelved after the SNP lost 21 seats in the last general election.
When asked if she would consider granting permission for a second Scottish independence vote if the First Minister asked, Theresa May replied: “I think it is important for the SNP to focus on the day to day issues that matter to people in Scotland and to stop focusing on independence.
“Scotland benefits from being part of the UK and the internal market of the UK is economically more important to Scotland than its trade with the European Union.
“But I am working to get a good deal with the EU that will be a good deal for Scotland and a good deal for the UK.”
She outlined positives from Brexit that would impact Scotland stating that Scotland’s fishing industry faced a bright future once the country left the Common Fisheries Policy. Mrs May said: “The proposals that we have put forward, respects the vote of the British people, ensures we bring an end to free movement, that we no longer have the European Court’s jurisdiction here in the UK, and we don’t send vast sums of money to the EU as we do as a member.”
She added: “We will be an independent coastal state when we come out of the European Union and I believe that will give real opportunities not just for maintaining but for enhancing our fishing industry.”