Majority of Scots would back independence in event of no-deal Brexit – poll

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A no-deal Brexit would change the game, a poll found (Jane Barlow/PA)

A majority of people in Scotland would vote for independence if there was a no-deal Brexit, polling has suggested.

The Panelbase survey for The Sunday Times Scotland found that Scots are currently 53% to 47% in favour of staying in the UK.

However, backing for Scottish independence appears to grow in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

In that scenario, support for independence rises to 52% and opposition falls to 48%, the poll found.

Meanwhile, a majority (59% to 41%) said they believe independence would be better for Scotland than a no-deal Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland’s First Minister is expected to say it is time for the country to be independent (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Panelbase surveyed 1,018 voters in Scotland from April 18-24.

The poll was published on the second day of the SNP conference in Edinburgh, where party leader Nicola Sturgeon is expected to declare it is “time for Scotland to become independent”.

It comes just days after Ms Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, told MSPs there should be another vote on Scotland’s place in the UK before the next Holyrood elections in May 2021.

On Saturday, a YouGov poll for The Times Scotland also recorded growing support for independence, with 49% of Scots preparing to vote Yes, compared with 45% in YouGov’s poll for the newspaper last summer.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This is a highly encouraging poll – and the second this weekend to show that the momentum is behind the SNP and independence.

“People in Scotland overwhelmingly oppose leaving the EU – and a majority believe that independence would be better for Scotland than any form of Brexit.

“With Westminster in chaos, no wonder the opposition is running scared of giving people in Scotland a choice.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “The overwhelming majority of people in Scotland don’t want a divisive second independence referendum in the next two years.

“And despite campaigning to break up the UK every single day since 2014, there is still no majority support for independence.

“But this poll is a stark reminder that the SNP is weaponising Brexit in the hope of boosting support for leaving the UK.

“That’s why those of us who oppose division and believe in solidarity must keep campaigning. Whatever your views on Brexit, independence is not the answer.”