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Scottish Conservatives to hit out at SNP calls for second independence referendum

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson led the party to their best ever performance at Holyrood. Credit: PA

SNP calls for a second independence referendum in the wake of the Brexit result are "completely irresponsible" and "utterly unjustified", according to the Scottish Conservative leader.

Ruth Davidson is expected to challenge Nicola Sturgeon's party on Tuesday and ask to "put the national interest before its own nationalist vision for once."

Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister, has already said a second referendum on Scottish independence is "highly likely".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: PA

Scotland needs the stability and security of remaining in the world's biggest single market - for jobs, investment and prosperity.

A second independence referendum is an option which is very much on the table - and even the Scottish Tories now agree that the UK Government cannot stand in the way.

– SNP statement

Ms Davidson will insist the memories of "divisiveness and toxicity" of the 2014 referendum campaign means that most Scots do not currently support staging another vote on the issue.

She will say: "The SNP is, as usual, trying to seize on a moment of doubt and uncertainty to declare that the shining star of independence is the answer.

"And it's trying to claim that, as a result of Brexit, there is now a massive groundswell for a second independence referendum.

Scotland voted to remain in the EU. Credit: PA

"This is simply not true. Even after the EU vote, only four in 10 people in Scotland say there should be an independence referendum.

"You cannot uphold the EU referendum result in Scotland as sacrosanct while trashing the Independence referendum vote we held just 22 months ago.

"And you don't solve the questions around leaving one union by walking out on an even more important one."