UK government rejects demands for new Scottish referendum

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government rejected Scotland’s First Minister demands for a new independence referendum after Brexit, saying it would be “a damaging distraction” and would undermine the result of the last vote five years ago.

Nicola Sturgeon, who heads Edinburgh’s pro-independence devolved government, said she has a new mandate to call for a fresh independence vote after winning the most seats in Scotland in last week’s general election.

“A second independence referendum next year would be a damaging distraction,” the government said in a briefing note accompany its legislative agenda. “It would undermine the decisive result of the 2014 referendum and the promise made to the Scottish people that it was a once in a generation vote.”

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill. Editing by Guy Faulconbridge