U.K. prime minister Theresa May has rejected a call from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to hold a fresh independence referendum before the Brexit process is complete.
"Just now we should be putting all our energies into ensuring that we get that right deal for the U.K. and the right deal for Scotland in our negotiations with the European Union," said the PM, speaking to British broadcaster ITV on Thursday.
"It wouldn't be fair to the people of Scotland because they're being asked to make a crucial decision without the necessary information, without knowing what the future partnership will be or what the alternative of an independent Scotland would look like," she added.
Yet Sturgeon immediately retaliated by demanding that her compatriots had the right to a choice.
"I have a mandate to give people in Scotland a choice and it is simply undemocratic for a party with one MP (member of parliament) in Scotland to stand in the way of that," she told Scottish broadcaster STV, before concluding with the resolute assertion "If the Conservatives continue to hold to that position, they will rue the day."
The Scottish first minister had caught May and her colleagues by surprise in announcing on Tuesday that she would seek to organize a new Scottish referendum between the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019, the later date roughly coinciding with the anticipated end of the two-year Brexit process should PM May trigger Article 50 to commence the process before the end of this month.