New research indicates Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party are out of touch with the great majority of ordinary Scots on Brexit and immigration.The research was conducted for Nat Cen by Professor John Curtice, one of Britain’s best-known election analysts and a regular talking head in the broadcast media circuit.
It suggests that some 62 per cent believe that trade arrangements and immigration rules should be the same throughout the United Kingdom following Brexit. This would appear to confirm that the First Minister’s “impossible” compromise proposal to keep Scotland in the European Union (EU) single market while the rest of the UK leaves does not have public backing.
“[O]n immigration in particular voters in Scotland seem to be more in tune with the stance taken by the UK government than that adopted by the Scottish Government,” it said.
“Indeed, it seems that even amongst those who voted Yes to independence in September 2014 there is a limited appetite for having a more liberal regime on EU migration in Scotland than there is in England and Wales.”
While the report shows a clear majority of Scots are in favour of trading freely with the EU – which Brexit secretary David Davis hopes to achieve through a comprehensive agreement – there is also a clear majority in favour of controlling immigration. This suggests Scots are not satisfied with the EU free movement regime which ties commerce and open borders together.Professor Curtice’s research emerges as official figures revealed a separate Scotland would face a hugely inflated EU membership bill – assuming it were able to cut spending or raise taxes enough for the bloc to accept its application. In addition, Scotland Office statistics lay bare just how much more important the British single market is to Scotland than the EU market.
The Scottish Nationalists lost their majority in the Scottish Parliament a month before the Brexit referendum but were able to pass a 69-59 vote in favour of a second Scottish referendum with the help of MSPs from the Scottish Green Party.
This comes just three years after Nicola Sturgeon dubbed the 2014 vote a “once in a generation” event.