Brexit has heightened Scotland’s quandary of being forced to leave the EU even though it voted to stay.
In an address to her party’s annual conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Scotland’s First Minister and Scottish Nationalist Party leader Nicola Sturgeon will hit out at the “unfolding calamity” and “despair” at Westminster and paint an independent Scotland as “a beacon of progressive values.”
She will also try to inspire “optimism and hope” in activists demanding a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The first minister believes that withholding support for the government’s Chequers plan would make it impossible for Whitehall to build a majority in favor of a hard Brexit and would attract pro-European MPs both from Labour and the Tories.
“I cannot envisage us voting for anything that doesn’t include a single market and customs union. [If May] brought back a bad deal, a no-deal or a blind-deal Brexit and the House of Commons doesn’t support that, then I think everything is to play for in terms of putting the single market and customs union back on the table,” Nicola Sturgeon told ITV News.
Support for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom would rise to 50 percent from 45 percent, if and when Britain leaves the European Union, a poll showed on Sunday.
Brexit has heightened Scotland’s dilemma of being forced to leave the EU even though it voted to keep its EU membership by 62-38 percent.
However, Britain’s overall vote to leave takes Scotland with it, and polls show Scots are increasingly opposed to the idea.
The SNP’s 35 MPs are the third largest party fraction in the House of Commons and could be crucial in the event of any tight Brexit vote.
Nicola Sturgeon is confident that SNP lawmakers in the UK parliament will vote against any divorce deal with the European Union.
With some Conservatives likely to rebel against any deal based on May’s Chequers proposals and Labour threatening to vote against, Theresa May’s chances of winning parliamentary support look slim.
Two years after the 2016 52-48 percent Brexit vote, London appears to be on the verge of clinching a deal with Brussels that would see the UK leave the EU’s customs union and single market but retain close ties to facilitate trade.