Appearing on This Week, the SNP’s John Nicolson said Scots should vote again as the UK outlined its plans for Brexit.
Presenter Andrew Neil asked if there was to be a second referendum would it need to be held before Britain leaves the UK, suggesting a window of between the end of 2018 and March 2019.
Former Conservative MP Michael Portillo then half-jokingly asked when the third vote would be.
Mr Nicolson said: “I think we need to see what the deal is on the table. I’ve always taken the view that the first referendum on balance would be lost, I think the second one will be won.”
Michael Portillo asks when the third Scottish independence vote will be
I think the second one will be won
His comments caused former Defence Secretary Mr Portillo to chip in and ask how many votes the SNP were hoping there would be.
He said: “When will the third referendum be? Presumably you’re going to hold them continuously until you get the right answer.
“Do you remember people saying it would settle the matter for a generation. Did Alex Salmond say that it would settle the matter for a generation?”
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.
Former First Minister Alex Salmond has been branded "deluded" and accused of pushing "fake news" after he tried to claim Nicola Sturgeon’s proposed break-up of Britain had nationwide support across the border.
Current First Minster Ms Sturgeon told Scots she was “determined to save Scotland from Brexit”.
But, not finished yet, Mr Portillo smirked as he again pressed Mr Nicolson on when a third referendum would take place.
Mr Nicolson replied the Brexit vote entitled the country to put the independence question to the people again.
He said: “I also remember that the SNP ran on a manifesto last year, which said that if there’s a material change in circumstance, we reserve the right to hold a second referendum.
“Clearly, when we pulled out of the EU it was a material change in circumstance.”
Theresa May, on Tuesday, announced her vision for Britain’s EU divorce in a 12-point plan.
The plan, which Scots and Londoners have supported, confirmed Britain would exit the single market and both houses of parliament would be offered a vote in 2019.
Brexit secretary David Davis said Britain would complete its deal to leave the EU in a “year or two”.