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Thousands sign petition to block second referendum

The UK Government will have to give a written response to the petitioners.

By STV News

Published 14 Mar 2017.

More than 56,000 people have signed a parliamentary petition to block a second independence referendum.

The UK Government will have to give a written response to the petitioners as it has gathered more than 10,000 signatures.

Although it can be signed by citizens from across the UK, the bulk are from Scotland.

The petition states: "Another Scottish independence referendum should not be allowed to happen.

"We in Scotland are fed up of persecution by the SNP leader who is solely intent on getting independence at any cost. As a result, Scotland is suffering hugely."

If it reaches 100,000 signatures then it will be considered for a parliamentary debate at Westminster.

Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: "The sentiments expressed in this petition are shared right across Scotland.

"People don't want independence and they certainly don't want to go through another divisive campaign to arrive at that view. This decision was made clearly and without doubt in 2014.

"And as tens of thousands are saying in this petition, the SNP should take this threat off the table and focus on the things that matter."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched plans for a second independence referendum on Monday morning at her official residence in Bute House, Edinburgh.

Sturgeon is calling on the UK Government to agree to a fresh independence vote sometime between autumn next year and spring 2019.

The Scottish Government does not hold the power to call a second referendum and must first seek and gain permission from Downing Street to do so.

Speaking today in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: "Those in Scotland who talk about having a second independence referendum should remember what [Alex Salmond] said.

"It was a once in a generation vote that took place in September 2014.

"It seems a generation now is less than three years."