Scottish demand for independence tied to access to EU’s single market bloc

Failure to deliver favourable terms for trade is likely to fuel demand for Scotland’s independence from UK.

As per the results of a poll survey, Brexit may not fuel Scottish demand for independence since Scots prefer similar outcomes, like Britons from Brexit.

According to the results of the survey conducted by NatCen, a respected social research organization, 93% of Scots prefer maintaining a free trade relationship with the EU, compared to 88% of Britons.

Vis-à-vis immigration, 64% of Scots want EU and non-EU immigrants to be subject to same controls, while 68% of Britons want the same.

While 61% of Scottish citizens say Britain should allow free movement of people in return for free trade with the EU, across Britain that figure is just 54%.

In the June 23 referendum, Scotland had voted to remain in the EU.

As per John Curtice, a political scientist and author of the NatCen survey, “So long, of course, as the UK government succeeds in delivering both free trade and immigration control”, the desire for Scots to break away from the UK will be diminished

Scotland’s devolved government has made it clear that Scots should not be dragged out of the EU against their own will. To this end it has called for a new referendum on independence in late 2018 or early 2019.

The Scottish government has responded to the results of the NatCen survey as one reflecting Scots’ enduring belief in the value of EU membership.

“The poll demonstrates people in Scotland continue to value the protections and rights offered by the EU, particularly on key issues such as free trade and freedom of movement,” said a spokesman from the Scottish government.

NatCen surveyed 859 people in Scotland and 2,322 people across Britain, online and by telephone, between Feb 5 and March 2.


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