RISHI Sunak has refused to come clean on whether he believes Scotland is in a “voluntary union” with England as the SNP said the notion was “dead and buried”.

Ian Blackford challenged the Prime Minister to stop “denying democracy” by refusing a second referendum – which has been blocked by the Supreme Court.

It came just hours after the UK’s highest court ruled the Scottish Parliament did not have the power to hold indyref2 without Westminster’s permission.

Blackford said: “The very point of democracy in this Union is now at stake and democracy will not be denied.

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“Because whether Westminster likes it or not, last year the Scottish people voted for a Scottish Parliament with the majority and a mandate to deliver an independence referendum.

“The Prime Minister has every right to oppose independence – he has no right to deny democracy to the people of Scotland.

“If the Prime Minister keeps blocking that referendum, will he at least be honest and confirm that the very idea that the United Kingdom is a voluntary union of nations is now dead and buried.”

Sunak did not answer the question, instead saying he welcomed the Supreme Court’s “clear and definitive” unanimous verdict which found the Scottish Parliament was powerless to hold an independence referendum without the express consent of Westminster, as happened in 2014.

He added: “Now is the time for politicians to work together and that’s what this government will do.”

Speaking later, Blackford said the independence movement had its biggest majority in Westminster in the history of devolution – challenging the Prime Minister to respect the pro-referendum “mandate” in Scotland.

Ayr MP Allan Dorans went on to challenge the Prime Minister, noting that the SNP had the largest share of councillors, MSPs and MPs of any party in Scotland, all voted in, he added on a “manifesto and a clear mandate for Scottish independence”.

Chris Law, the SNP MP for Dundee West, quoted Sunak’s own words back to him, highlighting that the PM had previously said Scotland was in the Union “by consent”.

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Sunak responded by saying the V&A being brought to the city represented the “positive” benefits of the Union, again arguing Scottish people wanted to see their governments working together.

Ayrshire MP Philippa Whitford told the Prime Minister Scotland had been “forced on Scotland against our will and we see devolution wound back” challenging Sunak to outline how the Scottish electorate would be able to find a way of being able to “make a choice over their own future”.

Sunak argued the Union was “collaborative and constructive” but stopped short of saying it was voluntary.

Amy Callaghan, who represents East Dunbartonshire, led her SNP colleagues in chants of “no” as she asked whether Scotland had voted for Brexit, austerity, the Tories before she had to silence Tory MPs attempting to “shout me down”.

She again pressed the Prime Minister on how Scotland could leave the “so-called voluntary” Union – which Sunak did not answer, again saying the current challenges faced by the country required “co-operation”.

Kirsten Oswald, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, said the Prime Minster’s answers had shown that “no matter how Scotland votes, Westminster decides”.

She added: “It is the people of Scotland who have to be heard.”