Former Tory chair David Davis rejects fears the United Kingdom will fragment as a result of Brexit, as calls for a second Scottish independence referendum grow louder and Nicola Sturgeon lays into outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron.
Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Sturgeon is looking for a mandate from the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on Tuesday to keep its EU ties despite last week’s referendum results.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron said a referendum on independence is the “last thing Scotland needs,” following the nationalists’ defeat less than two years ago.
Speaking to Afshin Rattansi of RT’s Going Underground, Davis suggested the Scots are “too smart” to leave the United Kingdom.
“The suggestion that the Scots will vote to leave, well we’d be the first country in history that voted to create a bankrupt state, because with the oil price where it is, they depend on the United Kingdom to support them, and the Scots are too smart to vote for that,” he said.
“If the SNP do that [hold a referendum] that means they’ll lose two referendums inside five years, that would be the end of any independence arguments for a century.”
But the SNP did not back down and in Parliament’s first session since the referendum took place, the party’s parliamentary leader Angus Robertson slapped down the government for the current state of affairs.
“It really matters to us that we live in an outward looking country not a diminished ‘Little Britain,’” he told the Commons.
“We have no intention whatsoever of seeing Scotland taken out of Europe.
“That would be totally democratically unacceptable.
“We are a European country and we will stay a European country and if that means we have to have an independence referendum to protect Scotland, so be it.”
His leader also insisted “every avenue” would be explored to “retain Scotland’s EU status.”
A united Ireland?
Irish politicians were quick to follow the Scottish first minister’s lead after the Remain vote also won out in Northern Ireland by almost 56 percent.
Some, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, called for a referendum on the unification of Ireland.
But asked about the possible end of Irish borders, Davis told RT he is adamant the UK would remain united.
“You can’t allow small parts of the country to dictate the rest of the country,” he said.
“I don’t think the Irish or the people of Northern Ireland want that referendum, and if they got it they wouldn’t vote for it.”
In Cardiff hundreds of young people took to the streets to protest the nation’s 52.5 percent vote for Leave.
They stood outside the Senedd Welsh National Assembly holding posters and banners, hoping to speak to First Minister Carwyn Jones.
Jones was meeting with his cabinet in Cardiff Bay, but urged Westminster to give the Welsh people a final say once exit deals with the EU are formalized.