The Lib Dem leader said today that “if the UK falls out of the EU, Scotland within a heartbeat will pull out of the UK. We will have lost two unions in one parliament".
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already called on parties across the UK to support her proposal that any EU exit should have the backing of each of the UK’s four constituent nations - which would be in line with David Cameron’s rhetoric during the independence referendum that the UK is a ‘family of nations’.
Mr Clegg’s warning comes despite his party colleague Alistair Carmichael claiming during the referendum campaign that there would not be an EU referendum after a No vote – saying: “There is no question of there being a referendum; there is no mechanism for the Conservatives to deliver the referendum in 2017. That is the hard political fact.”
A YouGov poll carried out in Scotland this week showed 52 per cent support for remaining in the EU – compared to just 29 per cent support for leaving.
Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:
“For the UK to quit the European Union against the wishes of the people of Scotland would be completely unacceptable. This is exactly why Nicola Sturgeon has been right in calling for any future referendum to require all four nations in the UK to vote for an exit before the UK could pull out of Europe.
“Polls continually show that the people of Scotland support continuing to work in partnership with our European friends and allies. If Nick Clegg truly believes that the UK is a ‘family of nations’ as we were told during the referendum campaign, he should back the First Minister’s common sense plan to ensure Scotland isn’t ripped out of the EU against our will.
“During the referendum campaign, Nick Clegg’s own Secretary of State for Scotland claimed that there would never be an EU referendum – Mr Clegg’s comments today prove that we can’t believe a word the Lib Dems say.
“A strong team of SNP MPs elected in May will ensure that Scotland’s voice isn’t drowned out by the Euro-hostility inspired by UKIP at Westminster – and would stand up against the democratically indefensible idea of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against the wishes of people living here."