The majority of Scottish voters do not want to see a second referendum on Scottish Independence, latest polling has revealed. The result suggests that Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is out of step with the people of Scotland, as she has vowed to ensure that last Thursday’s Brexit vote will trigger a second independence referendum.
A Survation survey for the Daily Record and Daily Mirror has shown that while 41.9 per cent of Scots think Scotland should hold a second independence referendum, 44.7 per cent would not like to see a second referendum, while 13.4 per cent don’t know.
This equates to a 48/52 per cent split against holding a second vote once the ‘don’t knows’ are excluded.
However, in better news for Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Ms. Sturgeon, the polling also found that, should a second vote be held, she and her fellow Scottish Independence campaigners would most likely win it: 47 per cent of people polled said they would vote ‘Yes’ to Scottish independence, against 41.2 per cent who would vote ‘No’.
This equates to a victory for independence by 54 per cent to 46 per cent, with the undecided voters removed, and would be a near reversal of the 2014 referendum result, which saw the people of Scotland vote by 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain within the UK.
Ms. Sturgeon was one of the first politicians to respond officially to the result of the EU referendum on Friday morning, telling assembled reporters that the vote for Brexit made it “highly likely” that a second referendum on Scottish Independence would take place.
The SNP’s manifesto made it clear that a second referendum would be called in the event of a “major change” to Britain’s circumstances; Ms. Sturgeon said it was therefore “a statement of the obvious” that a such a vote was now on the table.
She also laid out her intentions to conduct separate negotiations with Brussels to find a way to keep Scotland in the EU after the rest of the UK departs, saying: “I will be communicating over the weekend with each EU member state to make clear that Scotland has voted to stay in the EU and I intend to discussion all options for doing so.”
And she added: “I have also spoken this morning with [London] Mayor Sadiq Khan and he is clear that he shares this objective for London, so there is clear common cause between us.”
Yesterday she went further, threatening to veto Britain’s exit from the EU. Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme, she said: “The issue you are talking about is would there have to be a legislative consent motion or motions for the legislation that extricates the UK from the European Union?
“Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be that requirement — I suspect that the UK government will take a very different view on that and we’ll have to see where that discussion ends up.”
But while she may get her second independence referendum, she is likely to be thwarted over Brexit.
The Scottish Conservative’s leader Ruth Davidson said that legal advice she had received suggested that a veto “is not within the power of Holyrood,” a statement backed up by Conservative MSP and constitutional law expert Professor Adam Tomkins, who tweeted that although Holyrood had the power to withhold consent, this did not amount to a veto.
And a circulation to Members of the European Parliament by the European Parliamentary Research Service spells out that part of a member state “cannot…remain in the EU if the member state itself withdraws”.
Sources in Brussels also made it clear that Scotland would have to formally reapply to join the EU just like any other state, rather than be allowed automatic re-entry; a process that could take years.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson, the favourite to become Britain’s next Prime Minister, said on Sunday that he did not detect “any real appetite” for another Scottish independence referendum.