This poll shows Brexit risks breaking up the United Kingdom

Ben Pruchnie/Getty ImagesBoris Johnson
  • New poll finds a majority of decided voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland would back breaking up the United Kingdom if Brexit goes ahead.
  • 52% of voters in Northern Ireland and 48% of voters in Scotland say they would back independence from the UK after Brexit.
  • However, support for breaking up the union would collapse if Brexit were stopped.
  • The findings come as leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson suggests Brexit talks have failed.

LONDON – A new poll has found a majority of decided voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland would opt to break from the UK if it leaves the EU, according to a shock new poll which reveals that Brexit now risks the future of the union.

52% of all voters in Northern Ireland and 52% of decided voters in Scotland would opt for independence from the United Kingdom if Brexit goes ahead, according to polling by Deltapoll for the Best for Britain campaign group.

The polling found that Brexit is pushing voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland away from remaining in the UK.

In Scotland, it found that 47% of people would vote for independence if Brexit goes ahead, compared to 43% who would vote to remain and 10% who are unsure. In Northern Ireland. However, if Brexit were to be stopped a majority of decided voters would back remaining as part of the union.

Similarly in Northern Ireland just 39% of voters would back leaving the United Kingdom if Brexit is cancelled, whereas 52% say they would opt to leave the union if Brexit goes ahead.

Campaigners for a second referendum said the findings showed the need for Britain to think again.

“Let’s make it clear – Brexit is Project Risk. We know we risk losing jobs, it’s already started. We know we risk losing influence, as we become a taker rather than a maker of rules. Now we also risk losing our Union,” Conservative MP and former minister, Dr Philip Lee, said.

“The only legitimate course now is to suspend or revoke Article 50 and call a second referendum offering people a choice between the Leave the Brexiteers want and remaining in the EU on a new deal.”

The findings come as leading Brexit campaigner and the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson launches an attack on the prime minister Theresa May for failing to deliver a form of Brexit acceptable to hardline Brexiteers.

Writing in the Telegraph, Johnson accused May of getting “diddly squat” from negotiations and handing “victory” to the EU.

“The whole thing is about as pre-ordained as a bout between Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy; and in this case, I am afraid, the inevitable outcome is a victory for the EU, with the UK lying flat on the canvas and 12 stars circling symbolically over our semi-conscious head.”

In a front page splash, Johnson accuses May of having “not tried” to win a good deal.

Johnson resigned his position as foreign secretary in July.

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