Scots would vote to stay in UK in Scottish independence referendum - Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted that Scots would vote to stay in the UK if another referendum was staged on independence, but says it would be a "hard battle”.

The ex-Labour leader has also branded the SNP "out of touch" over plans to stage another vote on the constitution next year, insisting the Covid vaccination programme and economic recovery should be the priority.

A repeat of the the 2014 vote is not wanted by most Scots, according to the ex-Labour leader, despite polls showing that a majority of people north of the Border now support independence.

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Former prime minister Gordon Brown has suggested a majority of Scots would not vote for independence at a second vote

Asked if Scots would back independence on the Sophy Ridge Show on Sky News today, Mr Brown said: "No I don't think so.

"I think if there was a referendum, Scotland would stay in the United Kingdom.

"But it's gong to be a hard battle because people are frustrated, they are fed up, not just in Scotland, but in the regions of England and Wales.

“I see a sense growing right across the whole of the United Kingdom in the nations and the regions that people are not being listened to, they're not being consulted - Westminster and Whitehall is out of touch."

Gordon Brown says the pro-union side would would win indyref2

Mr Brown has called for a review of the way the UK is governed at the end of the Covid crisis.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a referendum could be staged in the early part of the next Parliament, but SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Scottish Government Constitution Secretary Michael Russell have both said it could take place next year.

Mr Brown said a referendum should not be taking place at all in the current climate.

"We're dealing with an election in May – the SNP want a referendum in 2021," he said.

"We've got to deal with a recession, unemployment is rising, we've got to vaccinate people in Scotland and perhaps a second round - we don't know if there's going to be a third or fourth wave of this disease.

"The idea that you can have a referendum in the first 12 months of the next year seems to me quite unrealistic.

"It's a sign that the nationalists are really out of touch with the priorities of the Scottish people."

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