FORMER chancellor George Osborne has revealed his “simple” suggestion of how to stop Scottish independence in a column.

Writing in the Evening Standard, the former Tory minister acknowledged that support for ending the Union is higher than ever – but argued that cannot be allowed to happen.

Some 19 polls in a row have now shown support for Scottish independence to be the majority position in Scotland, while Brexit has prompted discussion on Irish reunification and recent Welsh surveys show Plaid Cymru gaining on the incumbent Labour Party.

READ MORE: Revealed: Majority of Scots back using May election as default indyref2

Osborne, who was in government during the 2014 indyref, says the solution to keeping the Union together is “simple” despite the complex factors at play: “Just say no, Boris.”

“By unleashing English nationalism, Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade,” he writes.

He says by remaining in the EU single market, Northern Ireland “for all economic intents and purposes [is] now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland”.

Scotland, he argues, is an “altogether different matter”.

The National: BUDGET: Chancellor George Osborne

“Its contribution to the world through its literature and philosophy, exploration and art, is our contribution,” Osborne says. “Its departure — with no disrespect to the Welsh — would represent the end of the United Kingdom.”

The former chancellor says Boris Johnson has two options to stop independence, describing it as an “act of national suicide” – the first being to win over Scots to the Union and the second being to refuse a vote. The latter is preferable, according to Osborne.

“So what’s the second plan? Simple. Refuse to hold a referendum,” he writes. “It’s the only sure way you won’t lose one. Yes, the SNP will be in full cry — but so what? Domestic opposition has already evaporated, with the Labour leader there resigning last week.”

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Is Douglas Ross serious about getting Better Together going again?

He went on: “There’s a risk that the Scottish Government holds its own plebiscite — but that won’t be legal, and the courts will stop the arms of the Scottish state, like the police and civil service taking part.

“Ask the jailed Catalonian leaders how their illegal poll worked out. The only way you can have legal path to independence is through a referendum that is voted for by the House of Commons. So don’t vote for one.

“Whatever the provocation. Just say no, Boris, and save yourself a long anxious night in Downing Street.”

READ MORE: Indyref2: NINETEENTH poll in row shows Scots want independence

The article comes as a new poll finds more than half of Scots back using the Holyrood election as indyref2.

The survey, carried out by Survation on behalf of Scot Goes Pop, found more than half of voters would support the Scottish Parliament vote as an “opportunity to vote for or against independence”.

The National:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly reiterated her government’s commitment to a “legal, constitutional rule to becoming an independent state”.

That would involve securing a Section 30 order from Downing Street – as Osborne states in his article, this can be rejected no matter how much poll support independence has.