MICHAEL Gove has said no UK prime minister should “ever have a referendum on anything” again.

The Tory Intergovernmental Relations Minister insisted that political parties should instead put policies in their manifesto, and enact them if they win an election.

The UK Government has been asked if Gove’s position extends to Scotland, where the SNP have won multiple Westminster and Holyrood elections campaigning on the issue of Scottish independence.

The top Tory MP made the comments as he was speaking to former chancellor George Osborne and his former Labour shadow Ed Balls on their shared “Political Currency” podcast.

Gove had joined the pair for a three-part series of podcasts looking at the “Brexit plots”.

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He told them: “As long as I can remember having political views, I've been a Eurosceptic. That didn't mean that I was always agitating that we should leave the European Union.

“And in fact, as I think George recalls, when the announcement was made by David [Cameron], during the coalition years that we would have a referendum, I thought that was a mistake. I knew that a referendum campaign would be as it turned out to be, polarising.

“My single piece of advice to any future prime minister is never, ever have a referendum on anything.”

Gove went on: “My prior view is not a theological one, but a preference: governments should have policies, they should not put the matters to a referendum.

“So if a government decides that it is right that we should leave the European Union, put it in the manifesto, win a mandate.”

He added that he was “not a fan” of referendums “because, in practice, they end up creating far more problems than they resolve in and of themselves”.

Responding to Gove’s comments on social media, National contributor Professor Gerry Hassan wrote: “Referendums have been a regular part of UK constitutional practice for 50 yrs.

“They work when they offer a clear choice of creating a new institution or settlement: devo/Scots indy. They have created Scot & Welsh Parls, NI Assembly & GLA. Need codified rules after Brexit example.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “The most pressing referendum this broken UK Government should give the people now is a General Election.

"The sooner we see the back of Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and the whole self-obsessed Tory party, the better it will be for all those who believe in Europe, independence and progressive politics.”

Sunder Katwala, the director of the British Future think tank, said: “Some kinds of political question can only legitimately be resolved/ratified by referendum (esp if the question is ‘which state’, cf Scottish independence, or Irish unification, where there is a legal obligation to hold it if specific conditions re levels of support are met).”