SNP accused of ignoring ‘substantial number’ of Scottish Brexiteers in BBC Newsnight row

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The SNP MP for Central Ayrshire had accused the UK Government of ignoring Scotland’s Brexit demands and showing its “contempt” to the Scottish people. But Tory backbencher Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown hit back at the claim, suggesting the SNP had itself shown contempt to Scots who had backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Sir Geoffrey said: “I take slight issue with Philippa over the last point that she made, the contempt for Scotland.

“We never hear about the Brexiteers in Scotland. They are a considerable number.

“You said people voted by a large majority – they didn’t, in fact.

“It wasn’t that large a majority and there are a substantial number of Brexiteers in Scotland.”

Scotland voted 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the European Union at the 2016 referendum, with Northern Ireland also backing remain at the ballot.

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Nicola Sturgeon has long insisted Scotland should be given a second opportunity to vote for its independence as a key aspect of the 2014 No Campaign was the commitment from the UK Government that the nation’s place in Europe would not come into question if it remained in the UK.

Following a substantial victory at the December 2019 General Election, the Scottish First Minister lodged an official request for a new referendum but was turned down by Boris Johnson.

Support for independence has appeared to slowly increase over the past year, with the latest series of voting intention polls showing a slight majority in favour of breaking up from the European Union.

A Panelbase survey of 1,011 eligible voters conducted between August 12 and 18 found 51 percent of respondents in favour of breaking off the union.

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An earlier YouGov poll of 1,142 Scottish voters carried out between August 6 and 10 found 45 percent also backed independence.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed earlier this week the SNP will include a new independence referendum pledge in its manifesto for the 2021 Scottish elections. 

Writing in the magazine Holyrood on Sunday, the First Minister said: “That election will be, in my view without question, the most important in Scotland’s history.

“Not only will it provide a stark choice between the progressive policy platform offered by the SNP and the utterly regressive agenda of the Conservatives, it will be an election which is, at its heart, about democracy.

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“We are privileged to live in a democracy. But if that is to mean anything it must mean accepting the results of free and fair democratic elections.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “In the event of another election win for the SNP, it would be utterly untenable and unsustainable for the Conservatives to stand in the way of the democratic will of the people of Scotland.”

The SNP has maintained they would seek to apply for membership of the European Union should they become independent in the future.

But with Spain trying to maintain control over the region of Catalonia, Spain and other EU member states struggling with separationist movements could ultimately reject Scotland’s application in a bid to rein in potential internal rebellions.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy appeared to signal his country’s opposition to Scotland’s membership as early as 2015.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Rajoy said: ““It’s very clear to me, as it is for everybody else in the world, that a country that would obtain independence from the EU would remain out of the EU, and that is good for Scottish citizens to know and for all EU citizens to know.”

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