Saturday, October 22, 2011

Majority of Britons favour UK break-up: Scotland to become independent soon?

ALEX Salmond has claimed there is “a deep undercurrent of support” for Scottish independence across the UK and a demand for a “new relationship” between the nations of the British Isles.

It came as a UK-wide poll of 2,000 people showed majority backing for the creation of an independent Scotland and the end of the 300-year-old Union.

But the First Minister rejected calls to bring forward the date for an independence referendum, expected in 2014 or 2015, saying “no amount of blustering” from Prime Minister David Cameron would change his mind.

Mr Salmond seized on the ComRes poll, which showed a six-point surge in British support for separatism since May, as evidence of a “substantial amount of support” among “ordinary folk in England” for the SNP’s flagship policy of a spilt with the UK.

The poll showed 39 per cent of those surveyed throughout the UK agreed Scotland should be independent, with 38 per cent disagreeing.

The result could have far-reaching ramifications for the independence poll, with unionist MPs taking less interest in the vote if their constituents are supportive of a break-up of the UK.

A separate poll, the latest Scottish social attitudes survey, published yesterday, added weight to Mr Salmond’s suggestions, showing 74 per cent of Scots believe the Scottish Government should have most influence over their everyday lives. more