David Mundell: Nicola Sturgeon wants a no-deal Brexit to pursue 'fantasy' of Scottish independence
David Mundell has accused Nicola Sturgeon of trying to pursue a no-deal Brexit in order to realise her "independence fantasy".
The Scottish Secretary said the SNP leader hoped the "chaos and confusion" caused by the UK quitting the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place would boost the case for separation.
His comments, at a Tory event in Paisley on Saturday, came after Ms Sturgeon said Scotland "does not have to sink with the Brexit ship", and could avoid it by leaving the UK.
But Mr Mundell said the SNP's drive for independence would never be satisfied, even if Brexit was no longer on the table.
"There would always be some perceived slight or some manufactured grievance, for which independence is the only answer," he said.
!For Sturgeon, Brexit has always been a tool to exploit for achieving her independence fantasy, of going down in history as the SNP leader who broke up the United Kingdom. A way to cause, as Ian Blackford puts it, 'maximum disruption'.
“And we know as soon as one avenue closes down that they will simply look for another. The SNP have always been the saboteurs of the Union and always will be.
"They pretend to oppose no deal, yet no deal is their real aim. They hope it will cause chaos, confusion and boost support for independence. Everything else that they do or say on Brexit has been a publicity stunt.
"Nicola Sturgeon has always seen a no-deal Brexit as the best backdrop to campaign for independence."
Ms Sturgeon is under severe pressure from grassroots SNP members to launch a fresh push for a second independence referendum, something Theresa May has repeatedly insisted she would block.
The First Minister has said she wants to "let the dust settle" on Brexit before showing her hand.