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28 July 2015, 06:35
David Cameron has put himself on a collision course with the Scottish National Party after flatly refusing to consider another independence referendum.
Former first minister Alex Salmond has claimed a second public vote on independence is "inevitable'' and the only question was when his successor Nicola Sturgeon decided to go for it.
But the Prime Minister indicated that any decision by the Scottish Government to unilaterally decide to hold a referendum would not be legitimate.
He added that the result of last year's vote, which saw the Scottish people reject breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, had been "decisive'' so there was no need for a repeat.
Speaking to reporters accompanying him on a trade mission to south-east Asia, the Prime Minister explicitly ruled out another vote during the course of the parliament.
"I think it is important that a referendum is legal and fair and properly constituted and that's what we had and it was decisive so I don't see the need for another one,'' he said.
Alex Salmond said "I think a second independence referendum is inevitable.
"The question is not the inevitability, it's the timing and that is very much in the hands of Nicola Sturgeon.''
He said there were "three issues which are moving things towards a second referendum on a timescale yet to be determined'' - the "refusal to deliver the vow'' on further devolution, the prospect of a British exit from the European Union and the austerity measures in the Budget.