First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a separate Scottish immigration system has been dealt a blow by a poll showing that most people in Scotland believe in a common policy across the UK.
Research for the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) report also found a majority Scots would prefer to see an end to freedom of movement.
The report by Sir John Curtice was conducted for NatCen’s What UK Thinks project.
Out of 859 Scots surveyed, 63 per cent thought that, post-Brexit, the rules on immigration should be the same in Scotland as in the rest of the UK.
Of the random sample from the annual Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, 67 per cent thought the same should be true for trade.
A majority appeared to reject freedom of movement, with 59 per cent of voters in Scotland believing that potential EU migrants to the UK should have to apply to come here.
That was slightly behind the 64 per cent of voters across Britain who thought potential EU migrants to the UK should have to apply.
But 63 per cent of people in Scotland would accept free movement if it were the price that had to be paid for free trade, compared with just 53 per cent across Britain as a whole.
The Scottish leg of the survey was done in parallel with a similar exercise done with 2,168 people across Britain.
The proportion of Scots thinking that the UK government is handling Brexit negotiations badly rose from 57 per cent in February last year to 69 per cent, while 55 per cent think the EU is handling the talks badly, up from 44 per cent last year.
Some 62 per cent of Scots think that all decisions about fishing should be made by the Scottish Government once powers have been repatriated from Brussels. And while 27 per cent think that decision-making about fishing should be shared between the Scottish and the UK governments, only 9 per cent reckon they should all be made by the UK government.
Some 59 per cent of Scots think the Scottish Government should make all farming decisions post-Brexit, while 32 per cent believe they should be shared, and 8 per cent feel they should all be made by the UK government.
Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader said: “This welcome research exposes just how utterly out of touch the SNP has become. Contrary to what Nicola Sturgeon says, most people in Scotland know it makes common sense for decisions on immigration and trade with the EU to be the same across the UK. Unlike the SNP, they know that none of the questions raised by our departure from the EU are answered by breaking up our own union of nations.”
Scottish Brexit minister Michael Russell said the research showed the extent to which people were concerned about the direction of the EU withdrawal negotiations.
He added: “I am pleased to see this research shows people in Scotland believe decisions on all devolved issues should continue to be made here.”