Ruth Davidson tells Tory members to 'take a long, hard look at themselves' after poll finds they'd break up UK for Brexit

Posted On: 
19th June 2019

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has blasted members of her own party for being willing to back Brexit even if it means Scotland leaving the UK.

Ruth Davidson said Brexit could not come at the cost of "breaking up" the UK.
Credit: 
The House

A YouGov poll of Tory members found that almost two-thirds (63%) would be willing to allow Scotland to leave the United Kingdom in order to see Brexit take place.

Some 59% said they would rather see Northern Ireland leave the Union than the 2016 referendum be overturned, while 54% said they would prefer to see the destruction of the Conservative Party itself than stay in the EU.

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But Ms Davidson hit out at the party's membership over the poll, as she insisted Brexit could not come at the cost of "breaking up" the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Tory leader told the BBC: "I think there are a number of people within the Conservative Party who need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

"Yes, I understand of course we have got to respect the referendum result, of course we've got to deliver Brexit, but not at the expense of breaking up the UK.

"I would remind people of their obligations within the party - yes, we're a Conservative Party, but we're also a Unionist party, and I'd remind them that our own union of nations is every bit as important as leaving someone else."

YouGov surveyed 892 Conservative party members for the poll.

The findings come as Conservative members prepare to pick their next leader, with Ms Davidson backing Home Secretary Sajid Javid for the top job.

Reacting to the 33 votes Mr Javid racked up from MPs in the second ballot - just enough to stay in the race - Ms Davidson said: "My mother always brought me up right to say you dance with the person who brought you, so I'm not about to change horses mid-course."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told an event on Tuesday evening that any new Conservative leader would cause "immense damage" to Scotland by allowing a no-deal Brexit.

She said: "Instead of the chaos and dysfunction at Westminster, I believe people want a welcoming, tolerant, internationalist, European, equal, caring Scotland.

"We can achieve that country if Scotland's future is truly in Scotland's hands."