NICOLA Sturgeon would be wrong to unveil her “Plan B”should the Prime Minister refuse to allow Holyrood the chance to hold an independence vote, according to the former chair of Yes Scotland.

As the First Minister slammed the Tories for being “anti-democratic”, Dennis Canavan said “it would not be wise” for the Scottish Government “to reveal to the enemies of independence what would be the tactical reaction” in the event of the UK Government saying no to an official demand for a new referendum.

He spoke out after the Foreign Secretary used a visit to Glasgow to make clear Theresa May would reject any request from the First Minister to hold a second legally binding ballot.

Jeremy Hunt was the latest UK minister to insist the PM will not agree to a new Section 30 order giving Holyrood powers to hold a new referendum. The insistence by UK ministers the PM will not grant such a request have prompted questions over how the FM will respond.

READ MORE: Can Holyrood hold a legal indyref without a Section 30 order?

Video footage emerged yesterday showing SNP depute leader Keith Brown telling SNP supporters: “If we want to have a referendum, then we decide we’re going to have a referendum.” His comments prompted speculation that he was in favour of an unofficial referendum.

In response, he tweeted: “My position is clear – the deeply undemocratic stance of the UK Government in denying the mandate for indyref and refusing a S30 order should not prevent the Scottish Government seeking one and planning on the basis of winning that case.”

His comments were put to the First Minister yesterday who said the legal basis for any future referendum should be “the same” as for the 2014 – where the Edinburgh agreement struck between the Scottish and UK government set out the conditions for a legally binding ballot.

Asked by reporters if it was a possibility she could hold a Catalan style referendum without the permission of Westminster, she said: “No, I am not open to that possibility.”

She said: “My view is clear and always has been clear. The legal basis of any future independence referendum should be the same as the referendum in 2014, which is the transfer of power under a section 30 order.

“Of course the only reason we’re talking about this is because of the anti-democratic stance of the Conservatives, who I think are running so scared of the will of the Scottish people on independence.

“They refuse to acknowledge the democratic mandate that the Scottish government has.”

Speaking to The National, Canavan backed the FM’s strategy arguing May would face a backlash if she continues to refuse Scots the chance to vote again on independence.

“The immediate priority should be to maximise pressure on the UK Government to respond positively to the democratic mandate for Indyref2 and to warn them of the consequences if they refuse to do so,” he said.

“The UK Government must be made to realise that failure to respond to that democratic mandate would cause a constitutional crisis and drive more and more people into the independence movement, leading to a landslide victory for supporters of independence at the next Scottish Parliament elections.

“That would strengthen even further the democratic mandate, making it virtually impossible for the UK Government to ignore the increased demand for indyref2.”

Earlier Hunt was asked what May’s response would be if the First Minister asked for a section 30 order to be granted to permit this, Hunt said: “The answer of course would be no.”

While the Scottish Government could stage another vote, a section 30 order transferring the powers needed to hold such a ballot from Westminster would be needed for it to be legally binding.

The SNP say the 2016 Holyrood manifesto gives them the right to hold another vote. It won that election, with the manifesto including a commitment that another referendum could be held if there was a significant change in circumstances from 2014 – such as Scotland being taken out of the European Union against the wishes of voters north of the border.

Hunt was asked during a visit to Glasgow University what May’s response should be – “yes or no” – if the First Minister asks Wstminster’s permission to hold another referendum.

He said: “The answer of course would be no for the very simple reason that we think the Scottish Government should be focusing on the concerns of Scottish voters, which is not to have another very divisive independence referendum but to focus on an education system which used to be the envy of the world and standards are now falling, to focus on long waits in the NHS.That’s what Scottish voters want the Scottish Government to focus on and I am sure that that is what Theresa May will tell Nicola Sturgeon if she makes that request.”

In January it was reported the Scottish Government was seeking legal advice over holding another independence referendum. The report said Scottish Government lawyers had been charged with developing up-to-date advice on the legitimacy of a new vote on the constitution and external experts had also been consulted.