The Scottish Tory leader has ripped into Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a new independence referendum
Tory leader Ruth Davidson launched a scathing attack on the SNP in the wake of Ms Sturgeon's ultimatum on reaching a bespoke deal for Scotland.
The First Minister has signalled she is ready to launch a new bid to break up Britain in "the next few weeks" if Theresa May does not back her plan for the country to stay in the EU's single market.
SNP Brexit Secretary Michael Russell ramped up the rhetoric today suggesting Scots inevitably faced a rerun of the 2014 ballot if the Prime Minister was "unwilling to incorporate" their demands.
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It comes amid mounting speculation Ms Sturgeon will use the SNP's spring conference in March to announce such a move.
But Ms Davidson hit out at the prospect of using last June's UK-wide Leave vote as a trigger, stressing the need to "avoid further instability and uncertainty".
She declared: "People do not want Brexit to be used to start yet another fratricidal conflict.
The First Leader has been vocal about her desire for another Independence referendum
"I do not want Scotland to join post-Trump America and pre-election France as this year’s focal point for global instability."
It is the language of the bully pulpit
Ms Davidson also hit out at "10 years of constitutional division" since the SNP came to power.
She insisted there are also "many independence supporters who simply believe now is not the right time to be opening up another wound".
Despite polls showing a majority of voters do not want another vote Ms Davidson said the SNP has decided to "double down on their attempt to push for that second referendum".
Sturgeon's top moments Fri, December 9, 2016
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in pictures.
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Nicola Sturgeon visits Glaxo Smith Kline.
She said Mr Russell had branded the UK "insular" and "inward looking", while Ms Sturgeon has said a decision on Scotland's future is something we all "must confront".
Ms Davidson added: "In other words, having failed to persuade people of the necessity of another referendum, the SNP is now hoping to soften us up by telling us we'll just have to accept it.
"It is the language of the bully pulpit. The attacks on the UK are grave distortions. It doesn't speak of a party confident of its case.
"It smacks of desperation – and I urge the SNP to take a different path."
Following a meeting with the Prime Minister and other devolved leaders in Cardiff on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said "the next few weeks are going to be really critical".
Asked if such a timescale could see her announce another vote on independence by March, she said: "We are running out of time for this process."
Questioned at Holyrood today over the Joint Ministerial Committee talks Mr Russell said the SNP also wanted a "clear indication" on the transfer of more powers when the UK leaves.
He added: "The Scottish Parliament is aware that the Scottish Government believes that, should the UK Government persist with its plans for the hardest of Brexits and remain unwilling to incorporate into its position the needs of the devolved administrations, there would be no choice but to give the people of Scotland an opportunity to have their say on the matter.
Ms Davidson has pleaded with Mrs Sturgeon not to cause more conflict
"The next few weeks will be crucial in demonstrating the UK Government’s intentions."
An SNP spokesman hit back at Ms Davidson's remarks saying her party has "completely lost the plot."
He added: "Ruth Davidson’s use of inflammatory language by comparing legitimate political debate as 'fratricidal conflict' just shows how rattled she is.
"And no wonder, given her role as apologist in chief for right-wing Westminster Tories who now think they can do anything they want to Scotland and get away with it."
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