SUPPORT for remaining in the EU has risen in Scotland while the number of people wanting to leave has dropped by almost half, according to an exclusive poll of the Herald's readers.

A survey of how people feel on Brexit found that only 16 per cent favour the decision to quit the European Union, while almost 67% now say they are against the plan.

This compares to the 38% in Scotland who voted to leave in the 2016 referendum, compared to 62 % who wished to remain. 

Furthermore, the ongoing threat of crashing out without a withdrawal deal and the doom-laden prophecies of disruption at ports, empty supermarket shelves and civil disruption means that more than one-in-ten Scots said they are now "terrified" by the prospect.

The survey, filled in by 462 Herald readers asked them to list their biggest concerns over plans to leave the EU, with a No Deal Brexit being ranked top by almost half of those who responded.

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Other their concerns were that Brexit would bring threats to the economy and jobs, disruption to NHS supplies are treatment, and boost the far right in Britain.


Almost 8% were worried that it might lead to Scotland leaving the UK, although 15% are worried that the current impasse at Westminster may lead to Brexit being cancelled.

The survey, predominantly filled in by those in the 50-and-over age group, was taken last Thursday before Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament was revealed.


Among reasons given for being concerned about Brexit, one said: "Becoming a vassal state to Donald Trump's America", while another was worried about the UK turning inward, saying: "My children are half-Finnish and I fear for the rise in racist attitudes and 'othering' that is being legitimised in the UK."

The Leave campaign was criticised, with one respondent saying they were concerned about: "The legitimising of hate crime, racism and "English exceptionalism" that has accompanied the Leave campaign and its aftermath" along with "The invoking of jingoistic notions that should have died years ago and the demonising of our closest allies."

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Another added: "I worry that the UK in general and Scotland in particular risk being more separate from European countries and more isolated economically, culturally and socially. Further, I do not wish to have closer trading relationships with the USA."

In terms of parties supported by the respondents, 21.7% were conservative voters, 54% backed the SNP, 11.62% followed Scottish Labour, 7.24% the Liberal Democrats and 2.41% the Scottish Green Party.

A majority - 54.27% - said there should be a general election before the 31st of October Brexit deadline, with 33% opposed and 11% uncertain.


The Lib Dem's stalwart opposition to Brexit apparently helped their stock rise among Herald readers who hold similar views, with 15% saying they would vote for Jo Swinson's party if a UK-wide election was held after the 31st October, while only 6% intended to vote for Labour.

The number intending to vote for Boris Johnson's party also fell to 15%, while more than half of all respondents said they would back the SNP.

More than half of all those who took the survey said that Brexit made them more likely to vote for an independent Scotland, especially if there was no withdrawal deal, although 35% said it made no difference. 

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A spokesman for the SNP said: "Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and polls consistently show that public opinion across the UK has turned against Brexit - even before Boris Johnson's reckless plan to override parliamentary democracy.

"It's time for Brexit to be stopped once and for all."

Scot Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton added: “More and more people are recognising that the Brexit they are getting is not the Brexit they were sold.

“The race is now on to stop Boris Johnson hijacking British democracy. Liberal Democrats are committed to not just stopping a no-deal Brexit but stopping Brexit entirely.”