Nicola Sturgeon will ‘pay a heavy price’ for indyref2

Ruth Davidson gives her keynote speech at the Scottish Conservative Party Conference. Picture: John Devlin

Ruth Davidson gives her keynote speech at the Scottish Conservative Party Conference. Picture: John Devlin

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Ruth Davidson has warned Nicola Sturgeon she will “pay a heavy price” if the SNP push for a second independence referendum in response to Brexit.

The Scottish Conservative leader said voters didn’t want another poll on independence and accused the Scottish Government of using the EU referendum to mount a “cynical” bid for indyref2.

Speaking on the BBC, Ms Davidson said there were “more important things” to secure as part of Brexit talks than the Scottish Government’s objective of single market membership through a separate deal with the EU.

And while she said both she and the Prime Minister respected “the right to Scottish self-determination” in terms of a call from the Scottish Parliament for a new Section 30 order, granting permission for a second referendum, Ms Davidson claimed: “The majority of people in Scotland don’t want this.”

A poll conducted by BMG Research yesterday suggested that just a quarter of voters support a fresh referendum before Brexit.

“If she does try and call one, I think she’s going to take a massive hit for it, because Scots don’t want dragged back there,” Ms Davidson said.

“They’ve told us time and time again they don’t want dragged back there, and if she moves against the popular opinion in Scotland, and stops acting as a first minister, and acts solely as a leader of the SNP, then I think she’ll pay a heavy price for it.”

An SNP spokeswoman said: “Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and the single market and yet the Tories are determined to drag Scotland out of the EU against our will, ignoring the clear wishes of the people of Scotland.

“The SNP has a clear mandate from the people of Scotland who backed our manifesto commitment on a further independence referendum if there was a material change to the circumstances of the 2014 vote, and for the Tories to deny the Scottish people a choice over their future shows no respect for democracy.”

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