Throughout the EU referendum campaign, we heard that Brexit would not only sink the UK economy but destroy the Union because Scots were likely to vote Remain. In the event there was a difference at the polls—38 per cent of Scots voted for Brexit, vs 52 per cent in the UK as a whole—but was it enough to destroy, or even threaten, the Union? Polls in the immediate aftermath showed an uptick for support for Scottish separation which has since ebbed away.
Kantar TNS has today published a poll showing that 53 per cent of Scots are against independence, which confirms the YouGov poll taken at the end of August showing 54 per cent of Scots against.
So this is pretty much where things were before the Brexit vote. During the referendum campaign, Scots were asked how their support for separation would change if England voted for Brexit and they tended to reply that it would harden support by three or four percentage points. Even that would put support for independence nowhere near the 60 per cent that Nicola Sturgeon would need if she were to risk another referendum. And it may well be that this was an exaggeration and Brexit will end up having no effect on Scottish appetite to sever from the UK. Which stands to reason: Scots may be keener on the EU than the English – but keener on the EU than the UK? We will need a few more polls before the picture is finally settled, but it does look like fears of Brexit leading to Scottish secession were misplaced.