A WHOPPING 88 per cent of Leave voters in England are willing to accept Scottish independence in order to ensure the UK leaves the European Union, according to new research.

A study carried out by the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with Cardiff University found that almost nine in 10 respondents said that a majority of Yes voters in any future Scottish independence referendum was an acceptable price to pay in order to “take back control”.

The findings, taken from the latest Future of England survey – the findings of which will be presented tomorrow at a fringe meeting of the Conservative Party's Annual Conference in Manchester – also found that 81 per cent of respondents felt that destabilising the Northern Ireland peace process would be worthwhile to see the UK exit the European Union.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Professor Ailsa Henderson, professor of political science at the University of Edinburgh, said: “It’s evident from the data just how high a price many leave voters would be willing to pay to make Brexit a success. What’s perhaps most remarkable is the substantial proportion of Conservative supporters that are willing to risk the breakup of the UK to see Brexit happen”.

Other findings include that Conservative-supporting leave voters are also more likely to countenance the breakup of the UK, with 92 per cent prepared to accept Scotland voting for independence. That compares to 78 per cent of Labour-supporting Leave voters who were posed the same question.

By the same token, 87 per cent of Conservative supporting leave voters would be willing to risk jeopardising Northern Ireland’s peace process (compared to 67 per cent of Labour supporting Leave voters).

“For well over a century, the Conservative and Unionist Party has been the party most associated with defending the Union,” said Professor Richard Wyn Jones, director of Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre.

“But with such a high proportion of the party’s supporters willing to sacrifice the Union to ‘take back control’, it might well be time to ask whether the party still lives up to that name,” he added.