Tommy Sheppard: Brexit chaos makes independence push "very difficult"

The Brexit chaos engulfing UK politics has made it "very difficult" to take forward the campaign for Scottish independence, a senior SNP MP has said.

Tommy Sheppard says Brexit chaos has held back independence push

Uncertainty over the UK's future place in the world outside the EU has effectively held back Nationalists, according to East Edinburgh MP Tommy Sheppard.

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"One of the problems for those of us who advocate independence or a different constitutional future for Scotland is that we don't quite know what it's an alternative to at the moment," Sheppard said.

"So until it's clear what the United Kingdom is and the direction it's going to go and crucially whether it's part of the European mainstream or not, then it's actually very difficult to move forward on the question of independence.

"That has been the case for the past couple of years and it's still the case.

"So we're anxious to get the question of Brexit settled which is particularly why we support the idea of a People's vote because I think if this question is put back to the people, it's my firm belief that they will draw back from the decision that they took in 2016 and vote to remain as part of the European Union."

"And then we can move forward to discuss the question of Scottish independence."

But he said: "Everything that happens with this is going to condition what comes after."

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie claimed at the weekend that the the chaos of Brexit had dealt a "damaging blow" to the case for independence by illustrating the difficulties involved in leaving a long-established union.

But Mr Sheppard said: "I actually think you could make a plausible case that says Scotland becoming politically independent is less disruptive to everybody's way of life than the United Kingdom becoming economically independent from the European Union."