May Slams SNP in Bid to Keep Scotland in UK After Brexit

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Since last year's Brexit vote, Scottish National Party leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly said she could push for a new independence referendum if the country is forced into a clean break with the bloc.

"The SNP's neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal", she is set to tell the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow.

The PM will tell the Scots Tory conference she is committed to keeping the United Kingdom together - despite the First Minister being poised to call a second referendum.

Responding ahead of Mrs May's visit, she added: "The Scottish Government's approach since the European Union referendum has been to offer compromise and to seek consensus at every turn - in return the UK Government's has so far been one of obstinacy and intransigence".

"As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland".

Mrs May said she is "looking very closely" at the document, adding that she intends to create a "good trade agreement that works for the whole of the United Kingdom, but crucially a trade agreement that works for Scotland as well".

She said the United Kingdom government would negotiate a deal with the European Union that would protect Scottish interests after Brexit. May spoke warmly of the union - "we are four nations, but at heart one people" - but warned that she would fight against any decentralisation of power which meant "a looser and weaker union".

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"I think the SNP needs to move away from the tunnel vision of the issue independence and actually focus on the issues that that matter to people on a day to day basis", she said.

In an interview ahead of her speech, Mrs May said: "To me, politics isn't a game".

The PM was speaking in Glasgow on Friday when she slammed campaigners trying to "wrench Scotland out of its biggest market" by calling for a second independence referendum.

"The UK devolution settlements were designed in 1998 without any thought of a potential Brexit", she said.

"They're staying and there will be more powers coming and we've got to have a big discussion about what those are as they come back from the European Union".

But in an attack on public services, she said Scotland's schools are "outperformed in every category" by those in England, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Poland. It was described by the SNP as a once-in-a-generation vote that took place at that time.