NICOLA Sturgeon’s failures in Government have damaged the case for independence, the Scottish Secretary has claimed.

David Mundell said the SNP administration is struggling in the face of “serious issues” with health, education and transport.

And he accused Ms Sturgeon of seeking a chaotic, no-deal Brexit in order to lay the groundwork for independence.

Mr Mundell made the comments on the Daily Telegraph’s Chopper’s Brexit Podcast.

The Scottish Tory MP insisted the SNP’s record in Government was “just not good”.

He said: “The old theory was that the Nationalists would be in devolved Government and then they would say to people, ‘Well, this is so good, let’s go the whole way’.

“Well, it clearly hasn’t been so good, because we have all these serious issues – health, education, transport system failing.

“But I think what people have found most disconcerting is Nicola Sturgeon has focused solely on independence.

“Actually all pretence that she was interested in getting a good Brexit outcome for Scotland has been dropped.

“It’s just all about independence and having an independence referendum. Frankly, people across Scotland are just fed up with it.”

Mr Mundell said a “no-deal Brexit, a chaotic Brexit, disruption, is exactly what Nicola Sturgeon, and indeed those people who want to unify Ireland, are looking to achieve”.

He added: “Because they believe that that is the best backdrop to make a nationalist case.”

It came as the SNP demanded Mr Mundell apologise for “ignorant remarks” he made about the Icelandic economy almost a decade ago as he visits Reykjavik today in a bid to build trade links.

Speaking in a TV debate in 2010, Mr Mundell dismissed Iceland as part of an “arc of insolvency”.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur said: “David Mundell should use his trip to Reykjavik to apologise for his previous comments – and he should also acknowledge that Iceland’s economy now outperforms the UK’s.

“Just as Iceland benefits from being a small, independent European country, Brexit underlines the benefits of decisions being taken in Scotland rather than at Westminster.”