Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has said the Scottish Government’s work on indyref2 is still paused while ministers deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Russell confirmed work towards a second vote was in abeyance after he was challenged on the matter by Tory MSP Annie Wells.
In the Scottish Parliament, Ms Wells asked the Constitution Secretary if the government had since “revisited” its independence plans.
Mr Russell said the work had been “paused for the time being” because of the coronavirus, but ministers would return to the referendum when “appropriate to do so”.
The work to achieve it needs to be taken forward with vigour and purpose and clearly has increasing support from the people of Scotland.”
But he added that independence was required because of the UK Government’s refusal to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period, the EU withdrawal “power grab” and rejection of borrowing powers for Scotland.
“The work to achieve it needs to be taken forward with vigour and purpose and clearly has increasing support from the people of Scotland,” Mr Russell said.
Ms Wells suggested securing jobs, protecting health and restoring schools should be the government’s top priority rather than another referendum.
Mr Russell replied: “I think the number one priority is to ensure the prosperity, safety and productive future for the people of Scotland. That can only lie in independence. It cannot lie in dependence upon the UK, particularly not upon on this hard-right government.”