Theresa May will block a second independence referendum until there is “public consent” for one to be held if she is re-elected as Prime Minister.
The pledge comes in the party’s manifesto for next month’s general election.
Earlier this year, the First Minister formally requested a fresh vote to be held on the constitutional question between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, during the expected ratification period of the UK’s Brexit deal.
May rejected the request, saying “now is not the time” to revisit the question.
The Conservative manifesto states: “We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence.
“In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen.”
A majority of MSPs voted to back the Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum plans earlier this year.
Launching her party’s manifesto on Thursday, May said. “The next five years are the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime. Brexit will define us: our place in the world, our economic security and our future prosperity,” said Mrs May.
“So now more than ever, Britain needs a strong and stable government to get the best Brexit deal for our country and its people.
“Now more than ever, Britain needs strong and stable leadership to make the most of the opportunities Brexit brings for hard-working families. Now more than ever, Britain needs a clear plan.”
The SNP said the Conservative leader is “hiding” from the public with her refusal to take part in the STV Leaders’ Debate on Thursday evening.
SNP depute leader Angus Robertson said: “It’s no surprise given the contents of the Tory manifesto that Theresa May is hiding from scrutiny over her attacks on pensioners, on working families and on public services.
“The truth is Theresa May knows that answering questions about her policies would expose how damaging they will be.”