Scots favour the union over both EU membership and access to the single market
One month after the UK's shock decision to leave the EU, the latest YouGov research in Scotland shows no real shift towards independence. Were another Scottish referendum to be held tomorrow, Scots would vote to remain in the UK by 53% to 47%. The results represent a move to the independence option of just 1% since YouGov last asked the question in early May.
Even the guarantee of an independent Scotland being able to remain in the EU doesn't move public opinion in favour of independence.
Fully 46% of Scots say that they would rather live in a Scotland that was still part of the UK post-Brexit, against 37% who would rather live in an independent Scotland that remained in the EU. (These numbers translate to 55% vs 45% once don’t knows are stripped out).
Support for the union is buttressed by the fact that 43% of those who voted to Remain in the EU last month want Scotland to stay in the UK after Brexit.
The results are mirrored when Scots were asked about access to the single market. Here, 40% would rather Scotland remained in a United Kingdom that lost access to the single market compared to 34% who would prefer to leave the UK and retain access to the single market.
Inevitably, some will suggest that the high-water mark of Scottish independence has now passed, especially as it was thought that leaving the EU might persuade “No” voters to change their minds and vote against the union. However, the situation is, naturally, more complicated than that.
While Scottish independence has been mooted in the wake of the vote to leave the EU, a new referendum is not currently on the table. However, a lot could still change on this front in the coming years. Article 50 has not yet been triggered and once details of the Brexit deal emerge it may alter the context of the independence debate.
Once the details of the deal covering UK's departure from the EU become clearer, we'll start to have a better idea of what the future of the union looks like.