The SNP government has confirmed there will be no second independence referendum this year as efforts are focused on tackling the coronavirus.
In a letter to the UK Government, constitution secretary Mike Russell said ministers had halted work on the plans as a result of the pandemic.
He said: “Because of this crisis, the Scottish Government has paused work on preparing for an independence referendum this year.”
He added that plans to ask the Electoral Commission to test a possible referendum question had also been shelved.
Scottish Conservative shadow constitution secretary Murdo Fraser said:
“This is very welcome news and will come as a relief to workers and businesses alike.
“Since the scale of this outbreak became clear, it’s been necessary for all governments and political parties to work together.
“This announcement from Mike Russell is very much in keeping with that spirit.
“Now we can really dedicate all our efforts to enduring this crisis, supporting those who will be worst hit, and ensure we can come out the other side looking forward to a bright future.”