UNITED KINGDOM: Majority of people in Scotland support independence and rejoining EU, latest poll finds
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday that she hoped Scotland would gain independence and be able to “join” the European Union, stressing that Brexit was done against the wishes of the Scots, who were mostly opposed to it during the referendum of 2016. “We are now suffering a hard Brexit against our will, at the worst possible time, in the midst of a pandemic and an economic recession,” lamented Nicola Sturgeon on the website of her independence party, the SNP, two days after the UK’s exit from the single market and customs union.
She reiterated her determination to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence, following the one her camp lost in 2014 when 55% of Scots said ‘no’ to independence. But the decision to hold such a referendum rests with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who firmly refuses. Nevertheless, a large SNP victory in the local elections next May would increase the pressure on London to accept a new consultation. According to the latest poll conducted by the Savanta ComRes institute for The Scotsman newspaper in mid-December, 58% of Scots now support a break with the United Kingdom, never seen before.
“We didn’t want to leave”
“As an independent member of the European Union, Scotland would be a partner and could build bridges – not just a bridge towards building a stronger economy and a fairer society, but also a bridge to facilitate relations between the EU and the UK ”, argued Nicola Sturgeon. If the British, as a whole, voted 51.9% for Brexit in 2016, the Scots were 62% opposed to leaving the European Union.
With Brexit, “our citizens will be less secure and their right to work, study and live elsewhere in Europe will be restricted,” she regretted, noting that 2,000 Scots participated in the program last year. Erasmus university exchange, which the British government gave up to replace it with its own international program. “We didn’t want to leave and we hope to join you soon as an equal partner,” Nicola Sturgeon concluded.