The United Kingdom might not exist in its current form in a decade’s time, half of its citizens believe, an Ipsos MORI poll found.
The 52-48 per cent vote in 2016 to leave the European Union has strained the bonds that tie England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into the United Kingdom: Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay while England and Wales voted to leave.
As the United Kingdom heads towards its latest Brexit deadline of January 31, there are growing demands for an independence referendum in Scotland and for a vote on Northern Ireland unifying with the Republic of Ireland.
Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 per cent in a 2014.
The Ipsos Mori poll showed 50 per cent thought the United Kingdom would not exist in 10 years, up from 43 per cent in 2014. Just 29 per cent said it would exist in its current form in a decade, down from 45 per cent in 2014.
In the shorter term, the fate of the union – which traces its history back to the 1707 Treaty of Union – was also uncertain: 42 per cent said the United Kingdom would exist in five years’ time and 44 per cent said it would not.
“The British public are now much more divided in their expectations of the Union’s future than they were in 2014, when the Union’s future was under intense debate with Scotland just three months away from an independence referendum,” said Emily Gray, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Scotland.
“With independence a key faultline in Scotland’s election debate, the findings will be concerning for those who want Scotland to remain in the Union, while those campaigning for an independent Scotland will hope that this is a continuing trend.”
Ipsos MORI interviewed a sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Britain on October 25-28.