British Prime Minister Theresa May (File photo by AFP)
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is opposed to a second independence referendum in Scotland and the Scottish government will not have a veto over Britain's exit from the European Union.
However, May said Friday that she will listen to Scotland's concerns over the Brexit negotiations and fully engage the Scottish government in the talks.
"What I am very clear about is that, as we look into these negotiations, we will fully engage the Scottish government in the discussions that we have, in preparing what position the UK is going to take," May told BBC Scotland.
When asked if Scotland could have a veto over Brexit, May said, "The United Kingdom will have a position in the negotiations and we, as a United Kingdom government, will be negotiating with the European Union."
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that a "hard Brexit” may severely damage the Scottish economy and its place in the world if the UK is left without a deal on preferential access to the EU’s single market.
Under the "hard Brexit" formula, the UK may lose its preferential access to the EU's single market and suffer from soured relations with other EU members.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a press conference in Stirling on September 2, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
After the Brexit vote in June, Sturgeon had said that Scotland may hold another referendum for independence.
Scots rejected independence from the UK in a 2014 referendum. But in the referendum on EU membership on June 23, they voted to stay in the bloc while England and Wales opted to leave.
A Scottish independence from the UK would split the world's fifth largest economy apart just as it attempts to go it alone outside the European bloc.
"There are two questions you can ask about a second [independence] referendum in Scotland: One, 'Could there be?' And that's a process issue," May said.
"I think the real question is 'Should there be another referendum in Scotland?' My answer to that is overwhelmingly 'no'," she said. "There should not be a second referendum in Scotland."