Independence over EU membership would make Scotland 'Greece without the sun', think tank warns

Scotland bucked the national trend and backed remaining in the EU by a wide margin Credit: PA

Leaving the UK in order to remain in the EU would turn Scotland into "Greece without the sun", according to a right-wing think tank.

A report from the Centre for Policy Studies acknowledged Scotland is being taken out of the European Union against its will, but warned independence from the UK would "entail significant economic risk".

While the Leave campaign was victorious in the EU referendum, Scotland bucked the national trend and backed remaining in the EU by a wide margin of 62 to 38%.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, has said she will do "all I can" to ensure that Scotland's vote is respected.

The Centre for Policy Studies noted there was "some logic from a democratic standpoint" to Ms Sturgeon's "push for independence", but said such a move would not make economic sense.

The reported cited Scotland's budget deficit, declining oil revenues and the fact Scotland trades more with other UK members than with other EU countries.

"Scotland is being taken out of the European Union despite voting to remain within the institution," the report said. "However, the economic backdrop to Sturgeon's push for independence is not encouraging for her."

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will endeavour to ensure Scotland's vote is respected Credit: PA

But the SNP rejected the think tank's conclusions.

An SNP spokesman said: "This is unforgivable hypocrisy, coming from a right-wing Tory think tank founded by Margaret Thatcher and backed by Brexiteers who have taken the UK economy to the edge of a cliff.

"Even the authors of this report admit that the bogus economic comparisons they seek to draw with Scotland are 'impertinent' - and the reality is that Scotland is the wealthiest part of the UK per head outside London and south-east England.

"The biggest risk to Scotland's economic stability and security - without any question - is the threat to take us out of the EU and a single market of almost 500 million people."