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‘Happy to discuss with Sturgeon’

GUY VERHOFSTADT gave a startling verdict on whether an independent Scotland would gain automatic entry in the EU, unearthed reports reveal.

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Polling expert Sir John Curtice claims an independence referendum will be “difficult to avoid” in the next two or three years if the SNP win an outright majority at the next Holyrood election. Speaking to BBC Newsnight, the politics professor from the University of Strathclyde claimed that if such a result does occur, “precedent” around both the 2014 independence referendum and the 2016 EU referendum would make it difficult for the UK Government to block. He added that the timing of the referendum was also out of the hands of politicians and said it would only happen in a “post-pandemic world”.

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Professor Curtice said: “At the moment one has to say that the SNP are well ahead in the opinion polls for next May, they certainly have a better than 50 percent chance of being able to get an overall majority. “If that does happen I think it will be difficult to avoid another referendum within shall we say a two or three year time period.” He said the use of the “once in a generation” referendum argument may not hold the weight opposition parties and unionists hope, with Prof Curtice stating that arguments which provided the government with mandates for the EU referendum and the original independence referendum would be contradicted if the SNP win. As the future of the union looks more uncertain than ever, unearthed reports suggest the EU might help First Minister Nicola Sturgeon achieve her independence bid.

Verhofstadt’s startling verdict on Scotland’s EU entry: ‘Happy to discuss with Sturgeon’

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