Brexit fuelling calls for breakup of United Kingdom, expert suggests

24 January 2021, 11:12

By Seán Hickey

The desire for an independent Scotland and a united Ireland is increasing because of the effects of Brexit, this professor hints.

Professor John Curtice is professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde and joined Andrew Castle amid revelations that a greater number of people in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are looking for independence from the United Kingdom, which would mark the breakup of the Union.

"Even in Wales there seem to be an appetite for a vote," Andrew noted.

Professor Curtice explained the dynamics across the UK: "England is perfectly clear that it wants the union to stay together, a majority would be upset Scotland or Wales were to leave maybe not quite so concerned about Northern Ireland."

He warned that the "Union rests on rather a shaky leg."

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Andrew wondered "how much of people's voting intentions is driven by emotion?"

The politics expert argued that "we wouldn't be having this debate," if a sense of identity wasn't at play.

He added that the politics of Brexit has intensified the notion of the breakup of the Union.

"If you ask people both in Scotland and Northern Ireland whether or not they're going to be better off or worse off as a result of the uk leaving the European Union you're going to get even more negative response."

"Brexit to some degree has changed the terms of the debate."