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Brexit boosts support for Scottish independence – BMG poll

FILE PHOTO - Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign wave Scottish Saltire flags in central Glasgow September 18, 2014

Support for Scottish independence rose last month after British Prime Minister Theresa May came out in favour of Britain making a clean break with the European Union, a BMG survey for Herald Scotland showed on Wednesday.

It indicated 49 per cent of Scots now support independence – a 3 point rise from a previous poll – with 51 percent opposing it, after “don’t know” votes are removed.

However, a majority – 56 per cent to 44 per cent – still oppose holding another independence vote before Britain leaves the EU.

In 2014, Scots voted roughly 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom. But last year’s Britain-wide vote to leave the EU changed the landscape.

Scotland‘s devolved parliament rejected May’s plans for how to exit the EU in a symbolic, non-binding vote on Tuesday, a demonstration of the divisions between London and Scotland when it comes to Brexit.

A majority of Scots backed staying in the EU, and the Scottish National Party (SNP), the biggest party in Scotland‘s parliament, has said that there should be another independence vote if its views on Brexit are rejected.

Scottish Greens lawmaker Ross Greer, who backs the devolved nationalist government on independence, told Reuters on Monday that Scotland was almost certainly headed to a new independence referendum after the UK triggers the process to leave the European Union.

A report by Dundee-based newspaper the Courier said that May believes Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is two weeks away from demanding a second referendum on independence.

It said May is privately working a strategy to deal with this.

Scotland has a population of around 5.3 million, according to the last census, slightly more than 8 percent of the United Kingdom’s population as a whole.

It was an independent kingdom until merging into the UK with the Act of Union in 1707.

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