GLASGOW, Britain, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Theresa May launched her strongest attack Friday since becoming prime minister against the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), accusing them of playing politics as though it were a game.
May made the remarks against the SNP in the very heart of Scotland, in a keynote speech to Scottish Conservatives at their conference in Glasgow.
The prime minister also hit out at the "feeble and incompetent" Scottish Labour opposition "for nothing to scrutinize the SNP for their failures".
But it was the SNP led by Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon that bore the brunt of May's criticism.
She described the SNP government as interested only in stoking-up endless constitutional grievance and furthering their obsession with independence, at the expense of Scottish public services like the NHS and education.
"Scottish schools, which once led the world in setting the highest standards of attainment, are now outperformed in every category by schools in England, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Poland," said May.
She said standard have fallen in education which has been under the SNP's stewardship for 10 years, saying young Scottish people were losing out.
"The SNP's neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal, but sadly it doesn't stop there," added May, accusing the party of other failings.
She accused the SNP as a party resolutely focused on just one thing, Scottish independence, saying: "The SNP play politics as though it were a game."
"I am confident about the future of our United Kingdom and optimistic about what we can achieve together as a country. But we all know that the SNP will never stop twisting the truth and distorting reality in their effort to denigrate our United Kingdom and further their obsession of independence. It is their single purpose in political life," added May.
She said as Britain leaves the European Union the opportunity must be taken to bring Britain closer together.
"Ours is not a marriage of convenience, or a fair-weather friendship, but a true and enduring union," said May, "there is no economic case for breaking up the UK, or of loosening the ties which bind us together. We cannot allow our United Kingdom to drift apart."
"I am determined to ensure that as we leave the EU, we do so as one United Kingdom, which prospers outside the EU as one United Kingdom."
That means achieving a deal with the EU which works for all parts of Britain -- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and for Britain as a whole.
"When the UK Government begins negotiations with the EU on Brexit, we will do so in the interests of all parts of the UK and of the UK as a whole."
"As we bring powers and control back to the United Kingdom, we must ensure that right powers sit at the right level to ensure our United Kingdom can operate effectively and in the interests of all of its citizens, including people in Scotland."
In last June's Brexit referendum, the people of Scotland voted by 62 percent to 38 percent in favor of remaining in the EU. This prompted Sturgeon to say a second referendum for Scottish independence could not be ruled out.