'Many Scottish independence supporters don't like the EU at all - they voted Remain for tactical reasons'

Scottish independence: 'There will be a long stand off between the SNP and the UK Government', says journalist

Holyrood is expected to back Nicola Sturgeon's referendum call

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Spectator's Scotland editor has said a number of Scots voted Remain for cynical reasons in last year's EU referendum, knowing it would strengthen their case for independence.

Alex Massie suggested to Julia Hartley-Brewer that many people north of the border are tired of voting and politics after two referenda in three years, and the majority aren't actually in favour of seceding from the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Parliament is currently holding a debate on independence, a week after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's request for a new referendum was rejected by Theresa May.

Ms Sturgeon has suggested that Brexit is a fundamental game-changer and leaves the Scottish people, the majority of whom voted Remain, disenfranchised. But Massie suggested he was sceptical of this view while speaking to talkRADIO.

He told Julia that Brexit is "just a proxy" for the Scottish nationalists and is merely "the excuse this time."

He added that "some of them [Scots] don't like the EU very much but voted to remain because they could see how much a Leave vote would boost the nationalist cause."

Although the Scottish Parliament is likely to back Ms Sturgeon's call for a new referendum, Massie believes that in fact the Westminster government is likely to remain defiant, and this isĀ "going to lead to a long stand-off."

Listen to the full interview above