Scotland and the UK "moving in different directions" and indyref2 coming says Ian Blackford

Scotland and the UK are "moving in different directions" and independence is now looming, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford

The SNP is poised for sweeping gains in the election with exit polls pointing to 55 seats - a rise of 20 from 2017. Although this may be optimistic, the Nationalists are on course for another major victory north of the border.

"I think what is absolutely crystal clear is that if Boris Johnson is going to win in England, there is no doubt that the SNP will have won in Scotland," Mr Blackford told STV.

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"It's demonstrated that the two countries are moving in quite different directions.

"This is a worrying moment. I don't want to see Brexit happen in any part of the United Kingdom, but certainly for those of us in Scotland.

"Let's put this in the context of our independence referendum in 2014. We were told that if we stayed in the UK, that we'd be staying in the European Union.

"We certainly can't sit back and let Boris Johnson or anyone else to take us out of Europe against our will. So it is a moment of quite considerable concern for us to stand up for Scotland and to make sure that we reinforce the argument that we put in this election campaign that a vote for the Scottish National Party is a vote to make sure that the people of Scotland have the right to determine their own future."

Nicola Sturgeon will now seek a transfer of power from the new Prime Minister to allow a second referendum on independence to be staged next year, although Mr Johnson has made it clear he will reject this.

But Mr Blackford has insisted that the Prime Minister will cave in and rejected suggestions that the SNP needs a "Plan B."

"You cannot have a situation that anyone who believes in democracy can stand in the way of the votes of the people of Scotland, that had voted for an independence referendum in 2016, 2017 and now in 2019 as well," he said.

"Boris Johnson will recognise that he can't stand in the teeth of the votes of Scottish voters voting for the SNP and the vote to choose our future.

"It will happen, Plan A will work. We don't need Plan B when Plan A will be delivered.

"We will have that referendum - and I'll make a prediction that Scotland will become an independent country in the next while."