LIZ Truss is set to strengthen the Union by hastening the Tories’ downfall and letting Labour into power, Alex Cole-Hamilton has said.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader also said he could “absolutely” see his party working with Labour in both Holyrood and Westminster to replace the SNP and Tories respectively.

Appearing on the Edinburgh Fringe, he predicted the Foreign Secretary, the frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson, would help propel her party into opposition.

After framing so much of its independence rhetoric around Tories, the SNP would then find it far harder to attack a more progressive Labour government.

“A Liz Truss premiership probably means the end of a Conservative government, which is, I think, the fastest route to keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom,” he said. 

The Edinburgh Western MSP made his comments in Ayesha Hazarika’s comedy talkshow State of the Nation at the Gilded Balloon Teviot.

Asked whether the Foreign Secretary, the favourite to replace Boris Johnson, would make Scottish independence more or less likely if she became PM, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “I don't think it helps the case for Scotland staying in a progressive and reformed United Kingdom, which is what the LibDems want to see. 

“But actually I think that we are coming to the endgame now anyway, where this all [the push for independence] starts to dissipate.

“The polling hasn't really shifted in the last 10 years. Boris and Brexit and that are all baked into the polling around independence. 

“I actually think that the advent of a Liz Truss premiership probably means the end of a Conservative government, which is, I think, the fastest route to keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom.”

Referring to Nicola Sturgeon trying to have the Supreme Court rule on whether Holyrood can stage Indyref2 solo and saying she will make the general election a ‘de facto referendum’ if the Court rules it doesn’t, he went on: “I think that Nichola’s heart is not in this latest gambit of, first of all, the Supreme Court, but secondly, a de facto referendum by the general election, all of that is already coming apart at the seams.

“And they don't have any other cards left in the deck. 

“So I think that actually all this will play out with the end of the Tory government. And you may actually see the decline of nationalism for a few years in Scotland.”

He said that if there was an Indyref2, it would be deeply unpleasant. 

“I think there were bits of the 2014 campaign that were hostile. It would be that on stilts now because it’s been allowed to fester for so long.”

He said the “toxic dichotomy” of Tory-led Brexit nationalism and SNP’s Scottish nationalism  had held the country back “for so long”.

He said: "We are a people trapped between flags, between politicians who pine and mythologize about ancient nations that can never exist again.

“And I want to take us beyond that. 

“I'm willing to work, not in an official sort of pact or alliance, with people who share my values. I get on very well with Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader. 

“We speak the same language on a lot of things.

“But there's many reasons I am not a member of the Labour Party and there's reasons he is not a member of the Liberal Democrats.

“But you will need a Liberal Democrat resurgence for a Labour government [at Westminster].

“We can take massive chunks out of the Tory wall in the south as we’ve seen in [the recent byelections in] Shropshire, Tiverton, Chesham, and we've got more of that to come. 

“So I'm not going to be on national radio say yes, we're going to forge an alliance or coalition, but we do have to work together with progressive parties who share the same values as us.”

Asked if he could imagine the UK LibDem leader Sir Ed Davey working together with the UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Absolutely.

“You could see a world where I work with Anas. 

“I think that politics should be about, should be about grown-up decision-making, putting your differences aside, finding common ground where you are.

“We have been divided for so long, where people have been playing to the lowest common denominator, where you've got a Conservative Party government instigating a moral panic about things like pronouns kids use in schools, or what's on our syllabus in schools.

“I don't want to see a moral panic about that. I want to see a moral panic about filling planes full of refugees and sending them to Rwanda.”