Relations between France and England had soured during 1294 and by the following year, they were at war.
The Scottish nobles refused for a number of reasons:
A new group of 12 'Guardians of the Realm' was formed to take action against King Edward. The Guardians sent Scottish messengers to France to discuss how to deal with Edward I.
In February 1296 a Treaty was made between Scotland and France called the 'Auld Alliance'.
The Treaty stated that if France was attacked, Scottish forces would come to their aid. The French agreed to do the same if the situation was reversed.