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Theresa May tells of 'personal priority' to keep Scotland in UK

Theresa May tells of 'personal priority' to keep Scotland in UK

The latest clash between May and Sturgeon comes as the first minister is expected to announce plans for a second independence referendum when the PM triggers Article 50, starting the UK's exit negotiations with the European Union later this month.

Theresa May's speech at the Scottish Conservative Party conference on Friday dominates Scotland's front pages. the prime minister has set herself on a collision course with Nicola Sturgeon by indicating the devolution settlement enjoyed by Scotland for nearly 20 years will be redrawn after Brexit, according to The Herald.

And SNP ministers are also seeking a separate deal for Scotland which could see the country remain in the European single market even after the United Kingdom leaves.

There is growing speculation that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon could use the start of Brexit negotiations later this month as the premise to launch a new bid for independence.

May also suggested that Sturgeon and her party should focus more on improving the livelihood of young Scottish people rather than talking up a referendum.

Addressing politicians pushing for a referendum on whether Scotland should break away from the United Kingdom, she will say the living standards of people in Scotland shouldn't be treated as a game.

"For too long a feeble and incompetent Scottish Labour opposition did nothing to scrutinize the SNP for their failures", she said.

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"The SNP's neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal", she will add.

Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme she said: "You've got a nationalist Government, hell-bent on breaking us up, they told us it was a once in a generation decision". However, across the whole United Kingdom, 52% voted to leave.

Downing Street is already preparing for another vote on Scotland's future - and Mrs May's speech could be taken as the opening salvo of a battle which, alongside Brexit, may shape politics north of the border for years.

However, during her speech, May suggested that no special deal will be reached for Scotland and that all four nations of the United Kingdom will leave the European Union together.

The SNP accused May of hypocrisy, for criticising Scottish demands for independence while seeking a "hard Brexit".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has warned the SNP that if it holds a second independence referendum it will lose.

"Our aim will be to achieve the most effective arrangements to maintain and strengthen the United Kingdom, while also respecting the devolution settlements, and we will work constructively with the devolved administrations on that basis".

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