THERE will not be indyref2 in Nicola Sturgeon’s lifetime – regardless of Scotland’s election results, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said.

Appearing on BBC Politics Scotland, the Johnson ally said a ballot on independence should happen just once in a lifetime. And, in a reversal of comments made in November, he said an SNP majority at the Holyrood elections next year would still not deliver a mandate for a second independence referendum.

Jack said Westminster will not grant a Section 30 order to remove legal barriers to such a vote in Nicola Sturgeon’s lifetime, saying her party will have to wait until “a generation or a lifetime has passed” to ask the public again. The comments triggered a huge response, leading Jack to become the number one trending topic on Scottish Twitter.

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Commenters used terms like “embarrassing”, “contempt” and “arrogant” to refer to the Dumfries and Galloway MP’s live TV interview.

Sturgeon wrote to Johnson outlining the democratic case for a fresh Section 30 order last month, and has yet to receive a reply.

She argues that Brexit, which Scotland did not vote for, has created the “material change in circumstances” to justify revisiting the constitutional question.

Yesterday Jack said he’d advised Johnson – who has created the position of Minister for the Union for himself – to refuse the request, and said his boss “will be replying very soon” to the Scottish Government letter.

He stated: “Nicola Sturgeon has said she fully expects a rebuttal from the PM and my advice to him is to say that.”

Defending his position, Jack insisted that the UK Government does have a mandate to pull Scotland out of the EU, based on the UK-wide result in that ballot.

On why Scots should not determine their country’s future, he said: “Referendums are very divisive for our society and I think the time now is for us all to pull together as one United Kingdom, and go forward and take on the benefits that exist. Let’s see the benefits of Brexit. They have talked it down as being a disaster.

The National: Alister Jack's bullish comments have been branded 'embarrassing', a word his boss Boris Johnson understands wellAlister Jack's bullish comments have been branded 'embarrassing', a word his boss Boris Johnson understands well

“Let’s see if the world is still spinning on the first of February and how things can be good for Scotland.”

Jack told interviewer Gordon Brewer: “It’s absolutely the case that constitutional matters are reserved and must remain with the UK Parliament, in the same way as defence must remain, in the same way foreign policy must remain.

“It would be wrong for us to give the right to the Scottish Parliament to set referendums and the context and the timing for the simple reason that we would then be plunged into ‘neverendums’. That’s not good for us, that’s not good for the economy.”

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: Tories failed to protect Scottish devolution

In their General Election campaign, the Tories had told Scottish voters that the contest was about deciding the future of the Union.

Pro-independence candidates were elected in 48 out of 59 seats.

The SNP’s shadow Scottish secretary Mhairi Black said: “The SNP won a landslide victory in last month’s General Election, winning 80% of the seats on a mandate for an independence referendum, while the Tories lost more than half their MPs.

“They stood on a platform of stopping Scotland’s right to choose and were humiliated at the polls.

“The Tories have no mandate whatsoever to block Scottish democracy. Whatever your views on independence, we can all agree that Scotland’s future must be Scotland’s choice – not Boris Johnson’s or his cronies.”

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and has rejected Brexit at every opportunity.

“And despite all the bluster from Westminster politicians like Alister Jack, we all know that a fresh referendum on Scotland’s future is in demand.

“I am confident that when the people of Scotland are given a choice on their future, they will choose to escape the mess of Brexit and the broken Westminster system to build a fairer Scotland.”