The UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not grant a second Scottish independence referendum before the May 2024 General Election, according to Michael Gove.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said that Johnson's focus was on post-pandemic recovery.
The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously stated her intention to hold a new referendum by autumn 2023.
Johnson's refusal to grant a second referendum will likely increase the odds of a constitutional showdown between the Scottish Government and Downing Street.
The likelihood of there being a battle in the courts will also increase if Johnson continues to deny a section 30 order— the mechanism used to enable the first independence referendum in 2014.
Sturgeon will also be placed under greater pressure from members within her own party, the Scottish National Party, and other organisations to pursue a unilateral referendum.
In this scenario, it would be left to the UK government to challenge the legality of this course of action in the courts.
Gove also said that he disagrees with devolving further powers to Scotland and believes that Johnson should visit Scotland more frequently.