A UK Government Cabinet Minister has said indyref2 would be “irresponsible”, claiming the independence issue had been “settled” seven years ago.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party may fall short of an outright win - 65 seats - but a pro-independence majority with the Greens is all but assured.

Dozens of results were announced yesterday and counting has resumed.

An SNP Government will push for indyref2 at some point during the next term, but Boris Johnson’s Government appears to be hardening its position.

Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, dismissed indyref2 to Times Radio: “We think this is a complete distraction.

“It would be irresponsible to have another divisive referendum and another bout of constitutional debate at a time when we are charting our way out of this pandemic and when we’ve got to really focus on economic recovery.

“We think it’s completely the wrong thing to be doing.

“We had a referendum just a little over five years ago and that settled the issue.”

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Asked whether the UK Government would fight any bid for a second referendum in the courts, Eustice said: “Look, I’m not a lawyer – lawyers will look at these things and I think it is getting ahead of ourselves.

“We’ll have to see how the results pan out later today.

“There is a question at the moment over whether the SNP will get a majority or not – we’ll have to wait and see until the results come through.”