The Scotsman

Brexit persuading Scots to support independen­ce – poll

●Majority favour leaving the Union after quitting EU, survey suggests

- By PARIS GOURTSOYAN­NIS Westminste­r Correspond­ent

Brexit will put the Union in peril according to fresh polling, which shows that leaving the EU under any conditions will build majority support for Scottish independen­ce and the reunificat­ion of Ireland.

In Scotland, leaving the European Union will boost support for independen­ce by four points to 47 per cent, giving it a clear lead over those saying they want to remain in the UK at 43 per cent, with 10 per cent unsure.

The poll suggests Brexit will also lead to majority support for reunificat­ion in an Irish border poll, with 52 per cent of Northern Irish voters saying they would back leaving the UK.

Critics said the poll showed that Brexit was a “clear and present danger” to the survival of the UK, but the Conservati­ves insisted that the issue of Scotland’s future had been settled and said voters had no desire to revisit it.

The findings come as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy came under attack from all sides, with Conservati­ve MPS supporting Leave and Remain warning they won’t vote for it in Parliament, and the EU chief negotiator claiming it would break up the European single market.

Polling by the Deltapoll agency was carried out for Our Future Our Choice and Better for Britain, two campaign groups calling for a second referendum on EU membership.

Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP for Scotland, said: “This is a devastatin­g poll which reveals there is a clear and present danger to the future of

Secretary, David Davis, were on the BBC’S Andrew Marr Show yesterday to discuss leaving the EU

The chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland has warned that it may not be able to provide services to clients in Europe under a no deal Brexit unless it secures licences to operate from Amsterdam.

Ross Mcewan said RBS was “preparing for the worst” and was still awaiting the final legal clearances it needs. Without those approvals, Mr Mcewan said the company may be forced to shed some of its business customers on the Continent.

The bank has sent 150 staff to the Dutch capital and is in the process of setting up a new operation there to continue servicing accounts for European customers in the event that Brexit talks collapse.

The UK government has begun publishing guidance

for businesses on a no deal Brexit, with papers covering the impact on financial services published in July.

They warned that ministers could not guarantee that UK banks, insurers and investment firms could keep providing services in the EU without some form of agreement with Brussels. Many financial services companies have already moved to set up offices in the EU to maintain a foothold in the single market.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Mcewan said: “We are planning, unfortunat­ely, for the worst.

“If there is no agreement and we fall out of Europe, we have to be ready for our customers. So we’re setting up an operation in Amsterdam, awaiting final approval for the correct licences. 0 Ross Mcewan said the bank ‘has to be ready for customers’

“We’re having to put a number of our senior team and our systems and processes to move our European customers across into that entity for our markets business and our corporates.

“If we don’t get the right licences, and we don’t get them in time, that could create major problems for our customers and for the bank.”

Mr Mcewan added: “In the next couple of months, we’re going to have to make some decisions, to make sure we’ve got the licences and if we don’t, we’re going to have to think about which European customers we may not be able to bank.”

In 2016, the RBS chief executive warned that big financial services firms were already “stepping back” from investment decisions until they had a clearer picture of what Brexit would look like.

Last week the Japanese electronic­s firm Panasonic said it was moving its European headquarte­rs to Amsterdam to avoid the impact of a hard Brexit outside the single market, but said the decision would only see ten to 20 staff transferre­d to the Netherland­s.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom