Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum which the Scottish Government themselves said would be a 'once in a generation' vote.
As we embark on the process of negotiating a new relationship with the European Union, the Prime Minister is going to be fighting for every person, every family, and every business across the whole of the United Kingdom. That's the Government's focus and it should be the focus of us all.
I believe firmly that at this point all our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the European Union about our future relationship. To be talking about an independence referendum will make it more difficult for the United Kingdom to be able to get the right deal for Scotland, and the right deal for the UK.
More than that, as the Prime Minster said, I do not think it would be fair to the people of Scotland to be asked to make a crucial decision without the necessary information, and without knowing what the future partnership will be or what the alternative for an independent Scotland would look like. At this time we should be putting all our energies into ensuring that we get that right deal for the UK and the right deal for Scotland in our negotiations with the European Union. For that reason the Prime Minister has said to the Scottish Government: now is not the time.