In his address to the David Hume Institute this evening, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP will say that the SNP would do anything for independence, including betraying those that voted remain in the EU referendum.
Mr Rennie will point to the changing rhetoric of the SNP over EU membership, demonstrating that they are only using the Brexit vote to further their own nationalist cause which would leave an independent Scotland outside the EU.
The Lib Dem Leader will recommit his party to resolute support for the United Kingdom as reports of another independence referendum emerge.
Mr Rennie will say:
“Whilst The Conservatives have abandoned the internationalist posture this country has built, and the Labour party timidly accept that approach, the SNP wish to compound the break-up of Europe with the break-up of the UK.
“In the rest of the UK ten times as many people voted to remain as in Scotland. Why do Nationalists seek to diminish the 15 million remain voters in the rest of the UK?
“Independence is not the economic or the emotional answer to Brexit. I will continue to stand for Scotland in the UK as much as the UK in the EU. I will not compromise on deep rooted principles of internationalism, openness and liberalism.
“The Scottish National Party’s commitment to the EU has been compromised.
“You haven’t heard any senior nationalist say ‘the only way to keep Scotland in the EU is to have independence’. They used to say that all the time. Now they don’t. They now say that their dissatisfaction with the UK Government ‘transcends the issue of Europe’.
“We, perhaps, should not be surprised as one third of their supporters favoured Brexit.
“I meet them every week on the doorsteps. Brexit supporters who backed independence in 2014 but are opposed now because of the independence in Europe policy.
“Desperate to keep the significant branch of Brexiteers in their own party in line they are prepared to sell out Europe to get their dream of independence. But in doing so they are compromising with an isolationist agenda. The SNP would sell their granny on Amazon if it would win a few more votes for independence.
“So the risk of their proposal is that it leaves Scotland outside the UK and outside the EU. What a disaster that would be.
“Putting up barriers – whether regulatory or tariff, through independence or Brexit – will be bad for business. It will signal the start to a race to the bottom on tax, a race to the bottom on wages, and a low skill economy. It will mean we are a pawn rather than a world leader and it will be bad for business. “