BORIS Johnson is willing to launch legal action to stop a vote on Scottish independence, Alister Jack has said.

The Scottish Secretary insisted the UK Government will reject any calls for indyref2, regardless of the result of the Holyrood election.

The Tory minister also said any ballot that’s not signed off by Downing Street will be challenged in the courts.

"Nicola Sturgeon doesn't speak for Scotland,” he told the Express as he talked up his masterplan to save the Union, which involves using British branding on Westminster-funded projects in Scotland.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson will dismiss indyref2 calls without SNP majority, Curtice warns

Arguing against another plebiscite, Jack said: "Now is not the time to have a constitutional upheaval. The division and uncertainty would damage business. It's not in our thinking at the moment to do anything other than help the country recover from the pandemic and save jobs."

Asked if the UK Government would launch legal action against a so-called “wildcat” referendum, he said: "Yes. There are many reserved matters and the constitution is one of them. It's entirely a matter for the UK Government."

The Scottish Secretary also backed Douglas Ross’s calls for Unionists to boycott any poll which isn’t supported by Westminster, as well as warning of the complete break up on the Union if Scotland secures independence.

The National: Douglas Ross

“If Scotland went, would Northern Ireland want a border poll? Would Wales feel that they could go? It certainly would not strengthen the UK,” he said.

The Scottish Tory MP also claimed a Yes vote could split up families.

READ MORE: Scottish Government accuses Tories of 'systematic attack' on devolution

"We have a geographical border between England and Wales, and England and Scotland,” he told the Express. “To create a physical border and an economic border would be a terrible mistake. There are people crossing the border every day to go to work or school.

"There are children in my Dumfries and Galloway constituency who go to school in Carlisle. We all have family and friends who live in different parts of the UK. To break that up would be a terrible sadness."

The Scottish Secretary sought to counter claims that the Prime Minister is the independence movement’s "best recruiting sergeant". He insisted Johnson "values Scotland and he believes Scotland is a really strong contributor to the UK".

Jack has been spearheading plans in Westminster to prevent the break-up of the Union which centre on placing British branding on infrastructure projects in Scotland.

READ MORE: Tories plot Union flag blitz in Scottish towns to stop independence

The UK Government funding will be funnelled through the Community Renewal Fund, which is being replaced in 2022-23 by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The latter is designed to compensate for the loss of EU funding, but will not be allocated by the Scottish Government. Instead, Westminster will use the powers outlined in the UK Internal Market Act to allow it to bypass the devolved administrations.

"The EU was very successful in getting the message across that they have funded a bypass or funded a bridge or a community hall,” Jack said. “There would be a sign put up."

The plans to bypass Holyrood have led to accusations of a power grab from the Scottish Government. Earlier this week, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell warned Scotland’s ability to legislate in key areas has been undermined by a “systematic attack” on devolution.

Yet Jack claimed the Tories were doing the opposite. "The SNP is a campaigning organisation to break up the UK masquerading as a party of government,” he stated. "We believe in strengthening devolution, they believe in separation."

Last year, SNP published an 11-point plan for a second independence referendum. it states that the Scottish Government will push for indyref2 if a pro-Yes majority is returned to Holyrood in May, regardless of whether a Section 30 order is granted by Westminster.

The document explains it would then be for the UK Government to decide if it wanted to try and block the plebiscite through the courts.

The SNP have also pledged to spend  £600,000 this financial year on preparations for the referendum. 

The National: The SNP’s deputy leader Keith Brown revealed that 1000 members took part in the discussions

The party's depute leader, Keith Brown, hit back at Jack.

He said: “The people of Scotland – not Boris Johnson – have the right to decide this country’s future.

“This attempt at Trump-style denial of democracy is completely unsustainable, and it is increasingly clear that the Tories know there will be an independence referendum if the people of Scotland vote for one in May.

“Boris Johnson wants a free hand to strip powers from the Scottish Parliament and impose his disastrous hard Brexit. In an independent Scotland, the people who live here – not Westminster governments we don’t vote for – will decide how we rebuild our country after the pandemic. 

“Boris Johnson must not be allowed to decide Scotland's future – that’s why it is vital that people give both votes to the SNP in the coming election."