New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Politics
  2. Media
13 March 2017updated 04 Oct 2023 11:57am

Eight times Brexiteers said leaving the EU wouldn’t mean a Scottish referendum

Thanks for the heads-up, guys.

By Media Mole

There is going to be a second Scottish independence referendum because of Brexit. This is a terrible shock to us all, considering those trusty defenders of truth running the Leave campaign told us this wouldn’t be a result of leaving the EU.

Here they are, ever reliable:

Michael Gove

In February, arch Brexiteer and former cabinet secretary told Good Morning Scotland:

“One of the most striking things since Britain voted to leave the EU has been a decline in support for a second referendum and opinion polls suggest that support for independence has not risen, indeed, in one or two cases it seems to have fallen, albeit slightly.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

“It’s striking so many people, including the SNP, thought that leaving the EU would precipitate a second referendum. The people of the UK having voted to leave one union that didn’t work, the people of Scotland are not going to vote to leave a union that does work.”

Boris Johnson

Last March during an EU referendum debate, the now-Foreign Secretary who campaigned for Leave Johnson said there was “no appetite in Scotland whatsoever for a new referendum”.

Liam Fox

In May last year, the now-International Trade Secretary who campaigned for Leave wrote on ConservativeHome:

“The SNP have lost their overall majority in the Scottish parliament and will govern as a minority. They even ducked the challenge of putting a commitment to another referendum, in the event of a Brexit vote, in their manifesto. They cannot claim, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s protestations, to have a clear mandate for any constitutional change.”

David Davis

In January, the Brexit Secretary told the Commons that he would not back another Scottish independence referendum “under any circumstances”:

“I take the view that somehow the British people didn’t know what they were doing first time round so they have got to get a chance to get the answer right is patronising, bluntly, and undemocratic and improper.”

Nigel Farage

Last May, the then-Ukip leader called the prospect of Nicola Sturgeon calling a second Scottish independence referendum “moonshine”:

“The idea that the UK votes for independence and Nicola Sturgeon tries to hold a referendum against independence, that amuses me to begin with . . . “You mean a non-independence referendum. She would be voting against independence . . . This is an independence referendum we’re having in the United Kingdom.

“With oil at 45, 50 bucks a barrel, it’s moonshine. The Scottish people would not buy into that and the SNP know that too.”

Kate Hoey

In April last year, the pro-Brexit Labour MP wrote in Prospect that the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum a “wonderful red herring”:

“The wonderful red herring of a second Scottish independence referendum appears in every pro-EU piece of journalism. The argument runs that if we voted to leave the EU, the Scots would demand another referendum and vote to leave the UK, as Scots are far more pro-EU than the average Brit . . . Scots will certainly resist independence now, and as oil runs out, probably forever . . . The UK will stay together if we leave the EU.”

David Coburn

Last October, the Ukip Scotland leader told Business Insider:

“Sturgeon wouldn’t dare call another referendum. She’d lose. And lose badly. More people voted to remain in the United Kingdom than voted to remain in the European Union. And people, when they voted to remain in the UK, they knew there was going to be a referendum on Europe, and they knew we’d be voting as a United Kingdom — not as Scotland. So people knew that. Their fox has been shot. I think there’s much less interest in a referendum now because the SNP are simply incapable of governing Scotland.”

Gisela Stuart

In January, the Brexit-backing Labour MP and former chair of Vote Leave dismissed Sturgeon’s second referendum threats as simply “good politics”:

“I view a lot of the Nicola Sturgeon demands for remaining in the single market – the threats to temporarily leave the single market – as good politics, rather than a genuine threat because I think if she had another independence referendum – where would the extra votes come from?”

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust