"The prime minister has said this would mean a vote while she was negotiating Brexit and I think that can be taken pretty clearly as a message that this timing is completely unacceptable," the Times quoted an unidentified British government source as saying.
"It would be irresponsible to agree to it and we won’t."
The newspaper quoted another unidentified May ally as saying that the prime minister was prepared to be more explicit in the coming weeks and say that preparations for a Scottish independence referendum would undermine Britain’s negotiating position with the rest of the EU.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday demanded a new independence referendum in late 2018 or early 2019, once the terms of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union have become clearer.
An independence vote that could rip apart the world's fifth largest economy just months before Brexit raises the stakes for Prime Minister Theresa May as she prepares to trigger two years of formal Brexit talks.
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