Ruth Davidson sets three key tests for indyref2

Ruth Davidson opposes indyref2
Ruth Davidson opposes indyref2
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Ruth Davidson has today set out three key tests the Scottish Government must meet before Westminster is likely to back a second independence referendum.

But the Scots Tory leader insisted public opinion in Scotland has not shifted decisively in favour of another vote on leaving the UK.

The Edinburgh Central Tory leader - who saw her party's Spring conference cancelled this weekend due to the weather - pointed to the lose of 21 MPs which the SNP suffered in last year's general election when the issue dominated the campaign

Read more: poll shows support for Scottish independence at 32%

"There's no groundswell of support for it, there's no particular mandate for it. I don't doubt that Nicola Sturgeon will try for her entire political life to call as many referendums as she can have until she wins because she's never found a referendum result.

"But the country voted pretty substantially to stay in the United kingdom and I want to defend that."

Ms Davidson has previously said that the UK Government, which has responsibility for the constitution, should not block a referendum if MSPs at Holyrood back one. But Theresa May ruled out a second vote on the issue last year.

Ms Sturgeon had indicated there would be a second referendum after the Brexit vote, but backtracked after the general election losses, pledging to "reset " her plans. But the First Minister has still pledged to hold another vote on the leaving the UK when the terms of Brexit are clear.

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Ms Davidson said the Scottish First Minister would "have to enter into some kind of negotiation with the UK Government" before calling a referendum. But that will mean demonstrating a number of key tests, the Tory leader said.

"One, there's got to be support for it among the country - there isn't.

"Two, there's gt to some form of trigger for it - there hasn't been.

"Three, she's got to explain to the country that she promised that she wouldn't do this, that it would be for a generation, why she's dragging us all back there again and people don't want it."

The Tory leader insisted that Ms Sturgeon has no mandate for a second referendum after losing their majority at Holyrood.

"Nicola Sturgeon's got to show that she's got the mandate and the support for it and that something's changed - I don't think she can show any of these things at the moment."