THE news has been dominated by the possibility of a second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to seek a Section 30 order from the UK Government to hold a second referendum. Then Theresa May told her this is not the right time.

It is less than a year since I was re-elected on a manifesto which said I would not support another independence referendum, and that is exactly how I am voting in Parliament. It is only two-and-a-half years since we considered this question. We were told that the question was settled for a generation.

I accept that Brexit has caused great uncertainty about our future, and I personally believe that leaving the EU single market will be damaging to our economy. However, the idea that the solution to uncertainty is to add the even greater uncertainty of an independence referendum, or that the answer to leaving the EU market is to also leave the UK single market, four times more important to Scotland, seems completely illogical.

All of the key questions which the SNP could not answer in 2014 regarding currency, EU membership or the cuts required by a deficit (now £15bn) remain unanswered. It may well be the case that the UK Government have no idea how to make Brexit work, but that cannot hide the fact the SNP have no idea how to make independence work either.

Above all, I believe the first independence referendum and Brexit have been enormously divisive, and I wish to see an end to this. My politics has always been about bringing people together, not splitting them apart.

Meanwhile, at the same time as all the wrangling about a second referendum, new figures were published showing a substantial increase in poverty in Scotland, with 260,000 Scottish children now in that position. It is past time for us to focus on problems like this, not another referendum.