INDEPENDENCE would be "utterly tragic for the whole world," Boris Johnson has said.

The Prime Minister rejected indyref2 calls, saying independence would damage the UK's armed forces and lauding Scotland's contributions to defence.

He said the priorities of the UK should be to rebuild after Covid - not hold another Scottish independence referendum.

While answering questions from MPs in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister was accused of "holding Scotland's democracy hostage".

Alba MP Neale Hanvey said Johnson was in "breach" of a UN charter by refusing to allow a second independence referendum to go ahead.

The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath representative told the Commons: “I listened carefully to the Prime Minister’s warm words about the Commonwealth and the relationship between independent countries, and of course, in 1941, it was then prime minister Churchill that signed the Atlantic Charter with the United States, committing both Britain and the United States to delivering people’s right to choose their own form of government and self-government.

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“This respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples was incorporated into the United Nations charter in paragraph two of articles 173 and 76.

"In light of this, can the Prime Minister set out what mandate he has won which allows him to breach this UN principle, deny Scotland’s claim of right and hold Scotland’s democracy hostage?”

Johnson replied: “I know that the First Minister has asked for another referendum. I just point out we had one in 2014. Right now the priorities of the country should be rebuilding after Covid. 

“They should be taking us forward together as a united country, and that's what we want to do.”

Later, in response to a question from Tory MP Brendan Clarke Smith, Johnson said the “Scottish contribution to our armed service is immense.” 

He said: “Everybody knows it. It's a fantastic thing. It helps to make the UK what it is. It will be utterly tragic for the whole world if the UK armed services were to face a division of that kind, or an obstacle of that kind.”

Responding to the PM's comments, the SNP's Depute Westminster Leader, Kirsten Oswald MP, told The National: "The only tragedy would be for Scotland to remain part of this dysfunctional, outdated Westminster system.

"The people of Scotland have secured a cast-iron democratic mandate to decide their own future - and no Trump-like efforts from Boris Johnson, Douglas Ross or Anas Sarwar will deny that democratic reality."

It came as the Prime Minister updated the House of Commons on his recent international summits, including a Nato event in Madrid.

Speaking in the chamber on Monday, Ian Blackford called on the PM to support efforts to get grain out of Ukraine amid fears of starvation.

The National: Ian Blackford said the UK Government had "breached international law'Ian Blackford said the UK Government had "breached international law'

The SNP’s Westminster leader told the Prime Minister “this is now not just about stopping war, it is about stopping famine too”.

Blackford said international moves to prevent such a tragedy would need trust between global leaders.

He suggested Johnson had lost such trust, asking him to explain why he is “breaking international law” and “threatening trade wars”.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said: “This is now not just about stopping war, it is about stopping famine too.

“I am sure the Prime Minister will agree that all of these global efforts will only begin and only work if there is trust between global leaders.

“Can the Prime Minister therefore explain that in this moment of many crises how exactly breaking international law and threatening to start a trade war with out neighbours helps anyone?”

Johnson responded: “What the countries around the world see is the UK offering consistent leadership in the matter of standing up for the rule of law and standing up against Putin’s aggression, and that is, I promise you, that is what has been raised with me.”

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During his update, Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “using the language of nuclear blackmail” before noting a solution to the grain blockade in Ukraine might not receive Russian consent.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Defence Committee, repeated calls for the UK to secure a UN General Assembly resolution to create a “humanitarian safe haven” around the port of Odesa to ensure “vital grain exports can not only reach Europe but also Africa and prevent famine there”.

The Prime Minister, in his reply, told the Commons: “The work is being led by the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, the UK is doing a huge amount to support.

“But as I’ve told the House before, we may have to prepare for a solution that does not depend upon Russian consent because that may not be forthcoming.