Ben Riley-Smith, assistant political editor Gordon Rayner, political editor Simon Johnson
Brexit is more important to voters than keeping the United Kingdom together, an opinion poll for The Telegraph has indicated.
Sixty per cent of respondents agreed that Britain’s EU departure mattered more than stopping the UK’s break-up, while just 27 per cent disagreed.
Furthermore a majority of people said they would still vote for Brexit even if they knew it could trigger Scotland’s independence.
The results suggest there is no “buyer’s remorse” over Brexit despite a dramatic week in which the UK’s future has been called into question.
Theresa May has rejected the SNP’s demand for a second Scottish independence referendum before spring 2019, saying “now is not the time”.
Number 10 wants to ensure any repeat of the 2014 referendum – which saw Scots vote to remain in the UK by 55 per cent to 45 per cent – does not happen until Brexit has “bedded in”.
However, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has accused the Prime Minister of being “undemocratic” and is continuing to demand another vote.
Senior SNP figures yesterday repeatedly refused to rule out holding an “advisory” independence referendum – one which would not be legally binding but could build pressure on Westminster.
However, it is thought that the First Minister is more likely to pursue an intense campaign to whip up public opinion in favour of another referendum, including mass protests, marches and petitions.
An ORB poll of 2,000 British voters on Wednesday and Thursday gives an insight into how the week’s events have impacted their views.
Asked whether they would still back Brexit “even if I knew it could lead to the breakup of the UK”, 51 per cent of voters agreed and 38 per cent disagreed. The rest said they did not know.
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