Scotland politics

EU Referendum: Second referendum 'not in best interests'

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Media captionRuth Davidson says Scottish Remain votes do not cancel those cast in 2014 to stay in the UK

A second independence referendum is "not in the best interests of Scotland", according to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Ruth Davidson said she wanted to see "stability prioritised" in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"But I do not believe that a second independence referendum will help us achieve that stability," she said.

The UK voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48% but in Scotland 62% of the electorate voted to remain.

Ms Davidson spoke at the Scottish Conservative headquarters in Edinburgh shortly after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that a second independence vote in Scotland was "highly likely".

"Like the first minister I am disappointed with the result," said Ms Davidson, who was a key backer of the Remain campaign.

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Media captionFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a second independence referendum was "highly likely"

But she said Scotland needed to remain part of the UK.

"The 1.6 million votes cast in this referendum in favour of remain, do not wipe away the two million votes that we cast less than two years ago," she said.

"And we do not address the challenges of leaving the European Union by leaving our own union of nations, our biggest market and our closest friends.

"I believe in Scotland's place within the United Kingdom today as much as ever.

"And I believe that - in or out of the European Union - the strength, security and durability of the United Kingdom will endure."

'Discussion and co-operation'

Ms Davidson also called for co-operation between the Scottish and UK governments - and she said she was pleased there had already been discussions between the prime minister and the first minister.

"All of us, and both our governments need to work together for the common good, and in the awareness that families and businesses today are fearful for the future, and need reassurance.

"That requires a calm, measured response to the challenges we face - and a commitment to put our separate political priorities to one side to enable discussion and co-operation."

And she paid tribute to David Cameron who earlier announced his intention to stand down as prime minister.

"He has served Britain honourably for these last six years and I know he will discharge his duties these final few months with the same diligence and love of country that has marked his tenure," she said.

Respect result

Earlier Ms Davidson told the BBC's David Dimbleby: "We as a party have much more to keep us together than divide us and this has been a passionate debate.

"But remember just a year ago my colleagues in London were elected on a manifesto to have a referendum on the European Union - we have carried out that, that we would respect the result - whatever it is - and after that we would all as democrats respect the will of the people of this country, come back together and govern to the manifesto on which we were elected."

Ms Davidson was a key backer of the Remain campaign and was part of a TV panel of pro-Europeans which went head-to-head with Leave campaigners, featuring Conservative MP Boris Johnson.

She denied any "personal invective" towards Mr Johnson, saying that any challenges she made of him were linked to his arguments that the UK should end its membership of the EU.

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