UK voters more worried about break-up of Union than Brexit

Voters want to avoid independence over a Brexit Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Voters want to avoid independence over a Brexit Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Double the amount of British voters are more worried about a second independence vote than leaving Europe, a new survey has found.

The BMG poll for The Herald found that when comparing a split from Europe versus a split from the UK, 68 per cent voted independence from the UK as their “least preferred option” versus 32 per cent for leaving Europe.

This number shows that significantly more people are worried about the prospect of leaving the UK than they are about a Brexit.

The poll, which surveyed 1,512 people across the UK, comes at a time when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that if the Scottish people wanted it, she would fight for a second referendum.

On the campaign trail in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said that her position was “rooted in democracy” and that her political rivals were just frightened of a second referendum. But the leaders of the opposing parties have said it is disrespecting the outcome of the vote on September 18, 2014.

While the majority of Scots have backed staying in the EU, in England, it is more of a mixed bag. Nicola said that a second referendum could be triggered if Scotland is “dragged” out of the UK.

Reacting to The Herald poll, a spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said voters “right across the UK were concerned about the prospect of Scotland being independent”.

“That was shown in a number of rallies, and a recognition that the UK needed Scotland as much as Scotland needed the UK.”

A breakdown of the poll showed that those who were keen to stay in Europe, that over half -56 per cent - also wanted to avoid a second Scottish referendum.

Undecided EU voters were against Scottish independence (71 per cent) and 73 per cent thought independence would be a worse outcome than Brexit.

A Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman said the SNP would “do well to remember” that debate over the EU referendum “is not a proxy one for Scottish independence”, saying: “Liberal Democrats stand for Scotland remaining part of the UK and the UK remaining part of the EU.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said the “best future” for Scottish jobs was to remain in the UK and EU.

“Scottish Labour is fully committed to the UK remaining in the European Union,” he said.

The SNP confirmed their stance that the democratic will of Scotland would be the only thing that would cause a second referendum.

A spokesman said: “As we have made clear, the prospect of Scotland being dragged out of Europe against our will would almost certainly spark strong demands for a second referendum.”

Yesterday, Labour leader Kezia Dugdale accused the SNP and the Conservatives of being “utterly obsessed with re-running the constitutional arguments of the past”.

This was after Nicola Sturgeon’s comments at the weekend, where the first minister admitted she expected to lead Scotland to independence.

She said opinion polls could trigger another independence referendum but said there would have to be “clear and sustained evidence... over a period of time, that independence had become the preferred option of the majority”.

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