EU referendum: Former Scottish National Party leader may back Brexit to help achieve Scottish independence

James Nickerson
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Glasgow Prepares For The Independence Vote
Sturgeon has indicated that Brexit could lead to a second independence referendum (Source: Getty)

A number of those who are in favour of Scottish independence and strongly support staying in the European Union could end up voting for Brexit in order to bolster the chances of gaining independence for Scotland, a former Scottish National Party leader has said.

Speaking to Reuters, former SNP leader Gordon Wilson said that some voters may vote strategically for Brexit, even though they are in favour of remaining a member of the EU, so that the chances of independence become greater.

Read more: Is Labour hurting itself by campaigning to stay in the EU?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already indicated she would be very likely to regard the UK voting to leave the EU, but Scotland voting to remain, as a "trigger" justifying a second referendum.

Sturgeon's warning that Brexit could lead to a second independence referendum has been echoed by a number of politicians, including former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major, former EU chief Herman Van Rompuy and former foreign secretary William Hague.

Read more: Alan Johnson talks Labour and the EU referendum

"I myself haven't decided how I'm going to vote [in the EU referendum]. I helped steer the SNP towards European policy [in the 1970s] but certain things have happened and ... I want to look at it strategically from the Scottish viewpoint. It depends on an analysis of how Scotland can better achieve independence," Wilson said.

Polls at current suggest that Scotland overwhelmingly wants to stay in the EU, while England is growing increasingly uncertain about what it wants to do.

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