Giving Scots living elsewhere in the UK the ability to vote in a future independence referendum would “rig the rules”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The SNP leader responded to a report that senior Conservatives wanted to grant eligibility to Scots who are based elsewhere in the UK to bolster the pro-Union case.
The Times reported an unnamed cabinet minister saying the voting franchise should be expanded ahead of the expected referendum demand from the First Minister.
The source also said former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson should be brought back into front-line politics to make the case for the Union.
In the 2014 referendum, eligibility to vote was based on residence within Scotland.
Responding to the report, Ms Sturgeon tweeted on Monday: “I see the anti-independence campaign is trying to rig the rules of #indyref2 again (though in doing so they also concede that it’s going to happen).
“Maybe they should just argue their case on its merits and allow everyone who lives in Scotland to decide.”
About 800,000 people who were born in Scotland are thought to live in England, while more than 50,000 live elsewhere in the UK.
A UK Government spokeswoman said: “The sole priority of the UK Government is on continuing to roll out the UK’s life-saving vaccine programme and recovering from this health and economic emergency.
“It is our duty and our responsibility to focus entirely on Covid recovery. That is what people in Scotland, rightly, expect.”