EU Election results: Blackford says SNP return cements case for independence vote

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford
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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has suggested the EU election results had cemented the case for a second referendum on Scottish independence in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"We stood on a mandate of asking the people of Scotland to reject Brexit - that we don't want to be taken out of the European Union against our will, so [it was] a very clear message for ourselves and indeed the other Remain parties in Scotland as well," he told BBC Breakfast.

"So, we've really rejected Brexit and in particular we've rejected a no-deal Brexit."

READ MORE: EU Election results: Scots reject Brexit as Labour and Conservatives humiliated

Mr Blackford said a situation that sees Scotland "dragged" out of Europe would mean Westminster "has to recognise that the Scottish National Party has a mandate for an independence referendum and we need to be able to secure our own future as a European nation".

Results from 31 of the 32 councils across Scotland showed the SNP, who fought the election campaign on a strong pro-European platform, had polled 37.7 per cent.

The party's previous best Euro election result was 32.6 per cent in 1994.

READ MORE: EU Election results: Find out who won all of the seats for Scotland

Mr Blackford said Labour had "paid the price" for their "constructive ambiguity" as he hailed his party's "best-ever" European election result.

"We've been in power in Scotland now for 12 years and I think the fact that we've had our best-ever European election result and we went to the people of Scotland and said a vote for the SNP is a vote to stop Brexit," he said.

"It's a vote to respect the result that we had in Scotland in the referendum in 2016 when 62 per cent voted to remain.

"I think Labour have paid the price for the constructive ambiguity that has been much talked about. You cannot face two directions at the one time."