Brexit exposed the “myth of the union of equals,” John Swinney will say today in a speech to mark the eighth anniversary of the result of the referendum on EU membership.

The First Minister, who will be speaking at an event at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen, will say the fallout from the 2016 vote shows that “Scotland’s voice simply does not matter to the Westminster establishment.”

But the Scottish Tories hit back at Mr Swinney, saying he never respects referendum results.

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Scotland voted by 68% to 32% to stay in the EU, but across the UK, 52% of voters backed leave.

In his speech, the First Minister will say the Brexit result “demonstrated that the UK is not a partnership of equal nations.”

He will add: “The fact that Scotland voted to remain ultimately mattered not one jot to Westminster.

“That’s not equality – it’s a ‘know your place’ attitude.

“The way Scotland is being treated over Brexit is symptomatic of a wider ‘Westminster knows best’ union, whatever the cost to Scotland.

“While yesterday was the anniversary of the Brexit vote, today is the anniversary of people in Scotland waking up to the new reality.

“The reality not just that we were about to be dragged out of the EU against our will.

“But the reality that Scotland’s voice simply does not matter to the Westminster establishment.

“The myth of the union of equals was extinguished for so many people across Scotland on this day eight years ago.”

Scottish Tory deputy leader Meghan Gallacher said: “We know the SNP never respect referendum results.

“They are pushing for another one on independence – it’s page one, line one, of the SNP manifesto.”

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Last week, Mr Swinney launched his manifesto which reaffirmed the position agreed by party members at their conference last October.

It states that if the SNP wins the majority of seats “the Scottish Government will be empowered to begin immediate negotiations with the UK Government to give democratic effect to Scotland becoming an independent country.”

Yesterday he was asked by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg if he would accept that not winning a majority, meant the Scottish electorate did not want to pursue independence right now.

He repeated his claim he would have a mandate regardless of the result.

"The Scottish Parliament was elected in 2021 with a majority of members for a five year term committed to the delivery of a referendum on independence and to delivering Scottish independence, if that was supported in the referendum.

"I think that democratic mandate from the people of Scotland, clearly given, has got to be delivered.”

Mr Swinney was criticised by both independence supporters and those in favour of remaining in the union.

Appearing on the programme, Peter Mandelson said it was now “perfectly clear that the game’s up for the SNP.”

“What the Scottish people now need is not an SNP-led government that’s going to go head-to-head the entire time with the UK government.

“It needs Scottish people in a newly elected Labour government that will get benefits for Scotland.”

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Alba Party leader Alex Salmond said the SNP campaign was “half-hearted”

“Alba Party will ensure that Scots are given the opportunity to declare that we will not accept a Westminster veto over our right to self-determination and thus to vote at national elections for Scotland to be an independent country.

“We intend to mobilise the independence vote disheartened by the SNP’s half-hearted campaign. Every Alba vote will count towards independence.”

The former first minister said his party was “now the natural home for independence supporters.”