Scotland's Brexit minister insists no move should be made to 'thwart' indyref2
Scotland's Brexit Minister Mike Russell has insisted no move should be made to "try and thwart" a move for a second independence referendum.
Nicola Sturgeon's bid to seek the legal authority to allow Holyrood to stage such a referendum will be voted on by MSPs next Wednesday.
The Scottish Parliament is due to spend next Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons debating whether the first minister should be given the authority to seek a Section 30 order from Westminster.
While the Conservatives, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have all vowed to oppose a second referendum, a majority of MSPs support Scotland leaving the UK.
Although Ms Sturgeon's SNP lost its overall majority in 2016, the election of six Scottish Green MSPs means 69 of the 129 politicians at Holyrood back independence.
Speaking at Holyrood, in the first chance for MSPs to raise the issue since the first minister's announcement, Scotland's Brexit minister Mike Russell said: "If the Scottish Parliament seeks a section 30 order, then it would not be in any sense a democratic move to try and thwart that."
Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins said the first minister had "jumped the gun by issuing uncalled-for and unilateral demands for a second independence referendum to break Britain up".
He said: "Why should the UK government now take Scottish Government ministers into their trust at all about the UK Brexit negotiations?"
Mr Russell responded: "I don't feel...I've been taken into the UK government's confidence on any occasion but I'm quite happy to be taken into their confidence now if they choose to do so."