First Minister: Holyrood Should Choose Timing Of IndyRef2

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Downing Street there should be ''no blocking mechanisms'' applied to her plans for a second independence referendum.

The First Minister also insisted the timing of the referendum should be determined by Scotland and not by London.

Speaking after a meeting of her senior ministerial team, Ms Sturgeon said: ''Cabinet today agreed that the referendum must be for Scotland's national legislature to shape.

''It should be up to the Scottish Parliament to determine the referendum's timing, franchise and the question.''

Prime Minister Theresa May was barracked by MPs as she told the House of Commons she had been ''working closely'' with the Scottish Government on preparations for Brexit.

In a swipe at Ms Sturgeon's plans for an independence referendum, Mrs May told the Commons: ''This is not a moment to play politics or create uncertainty. It is a moment to bring our country together, to honour the will of the British people and to shape for them a better, brighter future and a better Britain.''

In a statement focusing on last week's European Council summit, Mrs May confirmed that she expected royal assent to be granted ''in the coming days'' to the Bill granting her the power to begin Brexit negotiations with the EU.

And she promised to come to the Commons before the end of March to inform MPs that she had triggered withdrawal talks under Article 50 of the EU treaties.

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