A majority of Tory party members would risk Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom as long as Brexit was delivered, a major poll has revealed today.
A YouGov survey found that Brexit is by far the most pressing constitutional matter for the Conservative rank-and-file, with most members claiming they would accept Scotland and Northern Ireland departing the Union if that was the price of the UK's exit from the European Union.
When asked what scenarios they would be prepared to accept as a consequence of Brexit, 63 per cent of respondents agreed with Scottish independence and 59 per cent said Northern Ireland leaving the UK.
“So dedicated to accomplishing Brexit are Tory members that a majority would be willing to countenance the destruction of their own party if necessary," Matthew Smith of YouGov said.
"Only a third put the party’s preservation above steering Britain out of the EU."
But one thing that Conservative members fear more than the prospect of Brexit failing is the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.
Half would rather call the whole thing off rather than allow the Labour leader inside Downing Street.
The Brexit issue has reignited the independence debate since the 2016 referendum that saw a majority of voters in England and Wales back leaving the EU, while most voters in Scotland backed Remain.
Nicola Sturgeon has since declared her intention to hold another plebicite on Scottish independnece if, as expected, the UK leaves the EU.
SNP depute leader Keith Brown MSP said: “The Tory party has clearly gone off the deep end – with their Brexit obsession pushing the party further towards the extremes.
“Tory members are so determined to deliver a damaging Brexit they are happy to watch our economy collapse and open the door of number 10 for Nigel Farage to take control of the UK.
“And far from prioritising the union, it’s clear Scotland means so little to the members of the Conservative and Unionist Party that two thirds are happy for Scotland to become independent if it secures Brexit.
“And with this poll suggesting that almost a quarter of Tory members in Scotland would prefer to deliver Brexit for their membership down south even if it means an end to the Union it’s becoming clearer that Ruth Davidson has little authority in her party in Scotland. This poll is an utter disaster for her and shows that her authority is seeping away at an incredible rate, leaving her increasingly isolated.
“Scotland didn’t vote for this Tory government – yet our future currently sits in the hands of small number of extreme hard-line Tory members.
“It is truly frightening to think these are the people that will be choosing the UK’s next Prime Minister.
“Scotland deserves much better than this. Westminster isn’t working and the only way to protect our interests is to escape this toxic political system by taking Scotland’s future into our own hands.”