SCOTTISH independence is something that would have to be decided by the whole of the UK, it has been claimed by the head of the Centre for European Policy Studies.

Karel Lannoo was speaking during a TV discussion programme on Aljazeera, with Mo Hussein, a political commentator and former UK Home Office special adviser, and policy analyst Jonathan Lis.

The trio were discussing if Scotland can become an independent country, against the backdrop of 62% of Scots voting to remain in the EU, more than four years of Brexit negotiations and Boris Johnson’s last-minute deal to leave the EU, on which MPs will vote this week.

“Scots are only a minority – a big minority – in the UK which has about 5 million, so if there ever were to be another referendum, it would be a referendum for the whole of the UK and ... the whole of the UK would have to agree with – eventually – the Scottish leaving,” said Lannoo.

“I do not see it another way.”

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However, he said we would have to wait to see how the new Brexit deal worked out “and how the overall economy, and how people react to this in the coming weeks and months”.

Lannoo said much would depend on Johnson’s deal and its focus on goods and services, which he said was important to Scots.

“I think we could see in the medium-term or the long run some problem for the UK economy in continuing to export their services, certainly to Europe.

“This explains I think the anger of the Scots.”

Hussein said he was not sure if a No-Deal Brexit would have a bigger impact than what is already on the table.

He said Nicola Sturgeon’s daily Covid briefings and her handling of the pandemic in Scotland had given her more of a platform and had perhaps changed some people’s minds on independence.

“They made her seem to come across as more of a leader and somebody who potentially could lead an independent country,” he said.

“But I do think they are two separate things; the context has been quite different. The Brexit argument has been going on for quite a long time so I’m not sure if there was no deal that would make a bigger impact.”