Poll: Brexit will build majority support for Scottish independence

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Brexit will put the Union in peril according to fresh polling, which shows that leaving the EU under any conditions will build majority support for Scottish independence and the reunification of Ireland.

In Scotland, leaving the European Union will boost support for independence by four points to 47%, giving it a clear lead over those saying they want to remain in the UK at 43%, with 10% unsure.

Brexit has independence back on the agenda. Picture: Jane Barlow.

Brexit has independence back on the agenda. Picture: Jane Barlow.

The poll suggests Brexit will also lead to majority support for reunification in an Irish border poll, with 52 per cent of Northern Irish voters saying they would back leaving the UK.

Critics said the poll showed that Brexit was a “clear and present danger” to the survival of the UK, but the Conservatives insisted that the issue of Scotland’s future had been settled and said voters had no desire to ­revisit it.

The findings come as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy came under attack from all sides, with Conservative MPs supporting Leave and Remain warning they won’t vote for it in Parliament, and the EU chief negotiator claiming it would break up the European single market.

Polling by the Deltapoll agency was carried out for Our Future Our Choice and Better for Britain, two campaign groups calling for a second referendum on EU membership.

Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP for Scotland, said: “This is a devastating poll which reveals there is a clear and present danger to the future of the United Kingdom.The Tories’ ­reckless gamble with the EU ­referendum and Theresa May’s disastrous handling of the negotiations are stretching the historic bonds that unite us.”

She added: “Leaving the EU will be calamitous for Scotland’s economy, and there is no such thing as a good Brexit.

“Leaving the UK would be even more catastrophic, leading to deep austerity and public service cuts that would hurt the poorest the hardest.

“The majority of Scots believe in solidarity across the UK and across Europe, which is why the Tories must stop putting the Union at risk and give voters a say on the final Brexit deal.”

Colin Clark, Scottish Conservative MP for Gordon said: “The people of Scotland voted by a significant margin to remain part of the United Kingdom in 2014. The body of polling work since then does not suggest any meaningful change in that view.

“It is time to focus on securing the best deal as we leave the EU – one that works for all parts of the UK.”

The SNP’s Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins, the MP for North-east Fife, said: “As the deeply damaging consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit become clearer, as Scotland’s economy continues to outperform the UK and as people grow increasingly concerned about the future under ­Westminster rule, support for Scotland’s ability to take its own decisions in an independent country will only grow ­further.”

Best for Britain chief executive Eloise Todd said of the poll: “This is compelling evidence as to why we need to stop and think again. The public deserve a say on the final deal, with the knowledge that if Brexit happens we could shatter the Union altogether.”

Phillip Lee, the Conservative MP for Bracknell who is backing calls for a second European referendum, said: “Brexiteers have to be given a chance to recant now it’s becoming so obvious what’s at risk.

“No government, especially a Conservative one, can legitimately pursue this course which will likely lead – perhaps not tomorrow or next year or over the next decade but nonetheless inexorably – to breaking our Home Union.”