Why Brian Cox is worried the SNP could back off from Scottish independence campaign

Actor Brian Cox has said he is “worried” the SNP will not make securing an independence referendum a clear goal of the general election.

The 78-year-old Succession star has been very vocal about his support for Scotland breaking off from the UK and in his criticism of Brexit.

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Asked on BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg about the political parties’ manifestos, the Dundee-born actor said the SNP “could be backing away from the notion of independence” ahead of it announcing its election pledges.

He said: “I don’t know if Scotland [has] backed off, but I think that it’s something that worries me, because I still … believe in independence.”

Cox said he believed if Scotland was independent it should be “part of these islands” and co-operative with the rest of the UK. He added: “I do believe we need a new kind system.

“I don’t believe in the United Kingdom – I believe that we should have a sort of united federation with these islands, that each … country should be independent, but come together to support the whole, instead of things being dictated, as we find in Scotland [things are done] on our behalf, that we have very little say.”

He referred to the referendum in which Scotland voted to stay in Europe while the majority of the UK voted to leave.

Cox also said his “main thing is … still the demon that we don’t talk about, which is Brexit” before citing economic figures.

He said: “It seems to me that we are still suffering from that, and we’ve not done anything about it. So when we talk about other things, we can’t really talk in terms of where we are because we are suffering from Brexit.”

Cox said if he was a Conservative voter, he would be concerned by Reform UK leader Nigel Farage as he claimed the parliamentary candidate for Clacton was “really ruining that party”. He called the other manifestos that were launched last week the “same old, same old”.

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The actor said: “My feeling is just we need to get rid of the present government. That’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. And I think at the moment it’s a very … I don’t know, I just wish I could be clearer about what’s going on and I’m not.

“And I’m not getting a sense of what’s what and who’s who; I’m getting a sense of who’s against … but I’m not getting enough of where we’re supposed to be going, particularly in relationship to poverty, particularly in relationship to the care of the working class, and I feel the working class [has been] a systematic sidestep for a very, very long time.”

An SNP spokesman said: “As the largest political party – and pro-independence party – in Scotland, the SNP will continue delivering for people across the country and making the case for a better Scotland with independence.

“In the face of yet more cuts to public services, Brexit and a cost-of-living crisis, voting SNP at the general election is a chance for people in Scotland to make their voice heard, which is why page one, line one of the SNP manifesto will read ‘vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country’.”

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