Nicola Sturgeon would lose independence referendum, says Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson

David Mundell walking

GETTYDavid Mundell the Scottish Secretary said Scotland would get more power after the UK leaves the EU

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called on Scottish nationalists to "move away" from considering another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, accusing them of having "tunnel vision".

Prime Minister Theresa May accused Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of sacrificing living standards in Scotland in her pursuit of a breakaway from the United Kingdom, in a pointed attack as the Scottish National Party edges toward demanding a second independence referendum.

Pro-Scottish Independence supporters with Scottish Saltire and European Union flags among others rally in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, July 30, 2016 to call for Scottish independence from the UK.

Only about 35% of Scottish voters support a new referendum before Brexit, and despite months of escalating rhetoric by Sturgeon, support for independence still sits at 45%, below the majority she has previously insisted she needs before calling a fresh poll.

Speaking at the Scottish Conservative Conference in Glasgow, May said she wanted "to make clear that strengthening and sustaining the bonds that unite us is a personal priority for me", reminding the audience that her first trip outside London after taking office was to Scotland.

So here is my challenge to Mr Arkless and his SNP colleagues: give up your relentless grievance agenda, drop the divisive and utterly unwanted threats of a second independence referendum and get on with the job of running our country.

I think it is worth beginning by saying that I too voted remain. A senior SNP source told the Times that failure to do so would represent a power grab, while Sturgeon warned this week that the Conservatives are using Brexit to "undermine the foundations of devolution".

She also added that arguments for independence are now weaker than before, and any referendum should be postponed until the Brexit process is complete - so people know what they're voting for.

The Scottish economy has fallen below United Kingdom levels of growth, with employment and productivity levels also struggling, Mr Mundell said.

She said: "The way I look at it is I believe absolutely passionately in the union".

" Given that this falls well short of what Scotland actually voted for. these proposals represent significant movement and a substantial concession on our part".

"Because politics is not a game and government is not a platform from which to pursue constitutional obsessions".

The SNP accused May of hypocrisy, for criticising Scottish demands for independence while seeking a "hard Brexit".

"If the prime minister thinks she can come to Scotland and sermonise about where power should lie, in the manner of one of her Tory predecessors, she should remember this - her government has no mandate in Scotland, and no democratic basis to take us out of Europe and the single market against our will".

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