IT looks like the Tory leadership challengers are playing the “I’ll show them who’s boss” game.

Several of the list to have thrown their top hat in the ring to be the next Conservative leader have pronounced on a second Scottish independence referendum.

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, used the most interesting choice of language.

“If I become Prime Minister, I won’t allow a second Scottish independence referendum”, he said.

Others took a similar tone.

“It’s a no to indyref2”, said Rory Stewart, International Development Secretary, another contender, an outsider but with a good chance of gathering support compared to many others.

Well, there’s nothing like someone telling others they are not allowed to do something to make them want to do it.

James Cleverly, another outside bet for Number Ten, took a less condescending tone.

“I will do everything to stop the break up of the Union” he said.

The Tory MPs who want to replace Theresa May are playing to their core English audience, which is fine in the context of a Tory leadership election.

But in this case, they are bidding not just to lead a party but to take over as Prime Minister, until such time as we have another General Election at the very least.

So as soon as they win and take the keys to Number Ten there is a very good chance they will be met with the request from Nicola Sturgeon on behalf of the Scottish Parliament, and as such the Scottish people, for the powers to hold a referendum.

READ MORE: No deal Brexit could 'accelerate' plans for Indyref 2 say SNP

In adopting a blatantly obstructive stance they are aiding the cause of the very movement they aim to thwart.

Just now the principle the SNP is fighting to win is not should Scotland be independent? That will come later.

Instead, the first battle is should Scotland have a second vote? Have the conditions changed to make people want to take the decision again?

Once the request is made, if it is refused then the UK Government and the Conservative Party will have handed the first round of ammunition to their opponents and it will be used effectively.

The second independence campaign will be about targeting a narrow section of the population.

The 35-40% who are definitely not changing their mind will not be the audience the SNP and independence movement focuses on.

It will be looking to win over the so called ‘soft no’ vote. Those who did not quite feel ready to back independence.

The message will be that since the EU referendum Westminster is broken. Since the European Parliament election it is clear that Westminster and the two big parties are out of tune with Scotland.

It has already had some people questioning the effectiveness of UK government.

If whoever comes after Theresa May begins with an antagonistic statement on ‘not allowing’ a referendum those questions will be asked by many more.

Arguments of an unequal union, Westminster elitism and Scotland being treated as a colony will be rehearsed up and down the country.

READ MORE: European Parliament election: Glasgow vote area by area

The Scottish Tories are taking the same line. Ruth Davidson thinks it is a vote winner and stopping a referendum is now top of her list of priorities.

It may keep her core support happy but it will push more people further towards the SNP.

By all means argue against it, state the reasons why Scotland shouldn’t take another vote and tell the country you don’t think we should.

The Tory contenders and pretenders south of the border should be careful. They should learn from Brexit that playing only to their own audience doesn’t look good nor does it achieve results.

Tell people you shouldn’t have a referendum and why you think they shouldn’t.

But do not tell them they can’t. Do not dictate “I won’t allow it.”

Or the answer you get back might just be “Oh, ye think so, do ye?

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories.

And with it support for independence grows and grows and it becomes so big it cannot be denied.