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Nicola Sturgeon: No fears of backlash from pro-Brexit SNP voters

It is unclear how many SNP voters backed Brexit, but more than one million Scots voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. Credit: PAs

Nicola Sturgeon said she is not concerned about alienating Brexit-supporting SNP voters with her pro-EU stance at the upcoming general election.

The Scottish first minister said the party's position of backing a confirmatory EU referendum and calling for Brexit to be stopped has not cost them support among voters.

Ms Sturgeon spoke out as she hit the campaign trail in Dalkeith, Midlothian, where she joined in with a folk band’s rendition of I’m a Believer by The Monkees on her visit to a community centre.

Nicola Sturgeon said she is not concerned about alienating Brexit-supporting SNP voters with her pro-EU stance at the upcoming general election. Credit: PA

It is unclear how many SNP voters backed Brexit, but more than one million Scots voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

Asked if she is worried about her pro-EU stance, she said: "No I don’t – I don’t worry. In politics, you have to decide what side of issues you’re on – big defining issues.

“You only have to look at Labour to see what happens to parties who try to straddle the fence and aren’t frank with people.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with Owen Thompson (left), SNP candidate for Midlothian, during a visit to the One Dalkeith Community Hub Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

“But however people voted on Brexit, I think people believe that it’s a mess and chaotic.

“Most people I speak to – including the minority in Scotland that voted to leave – actually just want to escape the whole sorry saga.

“So I’m convinced that the right thing to do is be straight with people and honest with people about how we escape that and how we put our future in our hands so we don’t find ourselves in this kind of position again.”

Ms Sturgeon also rubbished suggestions a Labour government could allow another Scottish independence referendum after the 2021 Holyrood election.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the One Dalkeith Community Hub, Dalkeith Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

She said: "Whether a referendum happens and on what timescale is not for Labour at UK level to decide, it is for the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament to decide,” she said.

“This is an election, let the people have their say and see where we are after that.”

As the Liberal Democrats prepare to take ITV to court for not inviting the party to appear on a TV debate, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP had not ruled out legal action.

She said: “We will consider all of our options.

“We’ve written to Sky in the first instance and I hope they take that seriously and I hope they engage with us in that discussion.”

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