1 In 3 Scots Want Brexit Deal Before Indy Ref 2

29 July 2016, 07:57 | Updated: 29 July 2016, 08:30

EU Referendum

Almost a third of voters want to wait until the UK's deal with the European Union is clear before deciding whether to hold another independence referendum, according to a new poll.

The YouGov survey for the pro-union Scotland in Union campaign group found 32% of Scots think the country should wait for the Brexit deal before a repeat of the 2014 ballot while 25% do not want another vote on independence until at least 2030.

A further 17% said Scotland should never have another referendum while 16% want a vote as soon as possible, 9% said they did not know and the remainder said they did not agree with any of those views.

The UK Government's plan for leaving Europe is not yet clear, although Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested it could begin formal negotiations early next year.

Ms Sturgeon has said she would consider calling a second referendum if the UK's position emerges as unacceptable to Scotland's interests.

Alastair Cameron, of Scotland in Union, said: "We know the EU referendum result has left many Scots disappointed and some people are calling for the debate on Scottish independence to be re-opened.

"This poll shows that Scotland does not want to rush into another referendum and one in three Scots want to see what Brexit means before deciding on our future.

"We believe people deserve to know what this new landscape will mean for trade, for currency and for our borders.

"Importantly, before dragging Scotland into another referendum, we need to hear from those proposing Scottish independence how we would deal with Scotland's £15 billion deficit.''

The poll of 1,006 people - carried out between July 20 and 25 - also found that 46% of people think another independence referendum would have a negative impact on the economy while only 22% think it would be positive.

Asked to rank their top priorities for the Scottish Government, the NHS, the economy and working with the UK Government on an EU deal came top ahead of getting a separate EU deal for Scotland and holding another referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Cameron added: "These new figures show that the people of Scotland believe premature talk of a second referendum is bad for business and they want politicians in Holyrood to be focusing on the NHS and the economy.''

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said: "This is more evidence that the SNP's headfirst lunge towards a second referendum following Brexit is not what the people want.

"Nicola Sturgeon should be working with the rest of the UK to get the best deal for Scotland.''

Labour MSP James Kelly said: "Scottish Labour stands with the majority of Scots who want to see Scotland part of the EU and the UK and continue to explore all options.

"However, it is clear that the NHS and the economy are the top concerns for the Scottish people. The SNP should bring forward infrastructure investment and use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop the cuts to local services.''

SNP MSP James Dornan said: "This poll shows that, among those who expressed a view, a majority of people are open to the possibility of another referendum in the context of the Brexit decision.

"In light of the overwhelming Remain vote in Scotland, it is absolutely right that we explore all options to protect Scotland's place in and relationship with the EU - and avoid the damaging economic consequences that are already becoming evident since June 23.''