Scotland's papers: Independence poll and Brexit letter

Scotland's front pages mainly focus on two topics: Tuesday's vote in Holyrood to back an independence referendum in Scotland and Theresa May signing the letter that will trigger Article 50.

The Herald says battle lines have been drawn as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon secured the endorsement of the Scottish Parliament for a second independence referendum.

According to The Scotsman, the bid for another referendum was kicked "into the long grass" moments after it was backed by the parliament when Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the discussions would not be considered until after Brexit was completed.

The referendum vote was "forced through" by the SNP and its "green stooges", says the Scottish Daily Mail. The paper declares that the UK government has signalled that a new poll will not be allowed for another five years.

"It stinks!" is the headline on the front page of the Scottish Daily Express, which says the independence vote was backed hours after it emerged cancer targets had been missed for the fourth year in a row.

The National features a big "Yes" on its front page, saying that Ms Sturgeon will make a formal request this week for Holyrood to be given powers to hold a new independence referendum.

The i newspaper also devotes its front page to the independence referendum vote, which the paper says "clears the way" for Ms Sturgeon to challenge Westminster.

The first minister has given Mrs May an "Easter ultimatum" to begin discussions after the Scottish Parliament voted for the referendum, according to the Daily Record.

The Times Scotland edition leads with a picture of the prime minister signing the letter that will trigger Article 50 with the headline "The eyes of history are watching". Theresa May is sat underneath a portrait of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first prime minister.

Police Scotland has insisted the force is "match fit" for a terror attack despite frontline officers saying Scotland could struggle to defend itself, according to The Scottish Sun.

A petition calling for Madeleine McCann's parents to be prosecuted for child neglect has been dismissed as "pure bile", reports the Daily Star.

Press and Journal says there is "fury" as emergency call centres in Aberdeen were closed, meaning that north-east 999 calls will now be handled in Tayside and the central belt.

And The Courier reports on the jailing of a businessman who crossed Scotland to register the births of 26 non-existent babies in a benefit fraud scam.

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