Scottish MPs back Sturgeon's independence referendum

Scottish Parliament voted 69 to 59 in favour of a second referendum

Scottish MPs back Sturgeon's independence referendum

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon at the British-Irish Council (BIC) Summit, Dublin Castle in 2015 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated at 18:27

The UK government has said that they will block a second Scottish independence referendum until at least the early 2020s.

Speaking to BBC, The Scottish Secretary David Mundell said "We won’t be entering into any negotiations at all until the Brexit process is complete.

"Now is the time for the Scottish government to come together with the UK government, work together to get the best possible deal for the UK, and that will mean for Scotland, as we leave the EU."

Members of the Scottish Parliament recently backed Nicola Sturgeon's calls for a second independence referendum in Scotland.

They voted 69 to 59 to mandate the First Minister to seek permission from the UK Government for a vote to be held between autumn next year and spring 2019.

Ms Sturgeon's minority Government won the vote with help from the Scottish Greens.

She faces an uphill battle, however, as Prime Minister Theresa May has already promised to block another referendum during the process of taking the UK out of the European Union.

Ms Sturgeon said she "hoped the UK Government would respect the will of the Scottish Parliament", but if it does not she will set out her next steps after the Easter recess.

Speaking on Monday, Mrs May confirmed her position that the focus should be on getting the best Brexit deal for all of the UK.

But Ms Sturgeon said "It is now the will of Scotland's democratically-elected national Parliament that discussions should begin with the UK Government to enable an independence referendum to be held," before adding that "Today's vote must now be respected.

"The mandate for a referendum is beyond question and it would be democratically indefensible - and utterly unsustainable - to attempt to stand in the way of it."

The two-day debate started last week but was suspended on Wednesday after the terror attack at Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon will now write a letter to Mrs May sometime this week with her Section 30 request. 

Additional reporting from IRN....