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May: Scotland should stay in UK. Sturgeon: It's not on you to decide

Staff Writer |
British Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a call for a referendum on Scottish independence before Britain leaves the European Union — a move condemned as a "democratic outrage" by Scotland's nationalist leader.

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May said "now is not the time" to reopen Scotland's independence debate, though she did not rule out a referendum in the future. Britain is due to begin the two-year exit process from the 28-nation EU by the end of this month.

"All our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the European Union," May said, adding that holding a Scotland referendum while EU exit talks are still underway would "make it more difficult for us to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the U.K."

May's stance sets up a showdown with Sturgeon's Edinburgh-based administration. Sturgeon will ask the Scottish parliament next week to start the process of seeking a new referendum.

Sturgeon said Thursday it would be a "democratic outrage" for the British government to stop the people of Scotland from "having a choice over their future."

"It is for the Scottish parliament — not Downing Street — to determine the timing of a referendum, and the decision of the Scottish parliament must be respected," she said.

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