WE occasionally lose sight of it, but there is one overwhelming reason why a second independence referendum is on the cards earlier than would otherwise have been the case. That reason is Scotland being dragged out of the European Union against its will, a shock turn of events which represents a material change of circumstances from the first indyref in 2014.

And yet, in spite of the emphatic victory of the Remain campaign in Scotland in the EU referendum, it’s often denied by the Unionist camp that Brexit constitutes any sort of breach of Scotland’s democratic wishes.

They point out that the vote was UK-wide, and that the majority of the Scottish population voted for the UK – not Scotland – to remain a member state of the EU.

They suggest, rather implausibly, that the vote did not necessarily imply that people would want Scotland to remain in the EU if the rest of the UK left.

READ MORE: Case for indyref2 ‘very much intact’ in results of new EU poll

Now that Brexit has formally occurred, they additionally claim that a vote to Remain in 2016 was not the same thing as a vote to Rejoin at some point in the 2020s, with the additional upheaval that would entail. The argument, in a nutshell, is that there isn’t actually any clear evidence to suggest that Scotland wants to be part of the EU in a post-Brexit world.

For the final question of the Scot Goes Pop/Panelbase poll, I tested whether such evidence could be provided in a form that would lay these hair-splitting objections to rest. I posed a simple six-word question: “Should Scotland rejoin the European Union?”

I didn’t load the question down with baggage about whether Scotland would be rejoining as an independent state – there are, after all, precedents that show it would be possible to rejoin from within Brexit Britain if the political will was there on the part of the Westminster Government.

The Kingdom of Denmark consists of three component parts, of which two (the Faroe Islands and Greenland) are outside the EU, and only one (Denmark proper) is inside.

Unsurprisingly, the result of the poll question was emphatic and not especially different from the Remain dominance we’re extremely familiar with in Scotland.

With Don’t Knows excluded, 60% of respondents said that Scotland should rejoin the EU, and 40% said it shouldn’t. That lead is only a smidgeon lower than the 62-38 advantage for Remain on referendum day in 2016, and the small difference can perhaps be partly explained by anti-independence respondents inferring for themselves that rejoining the EU might mean leaving the UK.

But 60-40 is not even close to being within the poll’s margin of error, so it’s official: Scotland really does want to be inside the EU, regardless of what the rest of Britain does, and the UK Government really is disregarding the democratic will of the Scottish people. The casus belli for indyref2 is very much intact.

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As ever, drilling into the details of the poll produces one or two fascinating nuggets. The LibDems are famously “pro-Britain, pro-Europe”, but it turns out that replacing the word “Britain” with “Scotland” doesn’t deter their supporters from giving a pro-EU answer. 62% of people who voted LibDem in the December General Election say that Scotland should rejoin the EU, and only 23% disagree.

14% of people who actually voted Leave in 2016 now want Scotland to rejoin. As the question didn’t mention independence, this finding can’t be explained away as Yes-supporting Brexiteers grudgingly accepting that EU membership is a price worth paying for indy.

It looks like there’s a fair amount of genuine buyer’s remorse out there – but that’s what happens when you pay too much heed to fairytales written on the side of a bus.