Public opinion in Scotland does support EU membership

12 January 2023
What was claimed

There is no desire in Scotland to have membership of the EU.

Our verdict

Both the 2016 referendum result and many subsequent opinion polls show a large majority support EU membership in Scotland.

There is no desire in Scotland to have membership of the EU.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, told the House of Commons yesterday that there was “no desire” for EU membership in Scotland.

Public opinion is often uncertain and can be difficult to measure, but the evidence suggests that a large majority of people in Scotland would prefer the UK, or Scotland specifically, to be a member of the EU.

Mr Jack's comments were also reported by the National and other outlets.

In the 2016 EU referendum, 62% of the votes cast in Scotland supported the UK remaining in the EU.

Since then, every poll collected by the website on the question of how people would vote in a second referendum has shown more than 50% in Scotland would vote to “remain” in the EU.

During this period, “remain” has had an average lead of 29 percentage points over “leave”, and the most recent poll in August shows the largest lead so far recorded, of 40 percentage points.

The prospect of Scotland specifically rejoining the EU was also the most persuasive argument for Scottish independence among those currently opposed to it, according to a poll by YouGov in October 2022.

In short, although the desires of people in Scotland are not necessarily a simple matter of fact, the evidence strongly suggests that the majority do want to be part of the EU.

When Full Fact approached the Scotland Office for comment, it directed us back to what Mr Jack said in Parliament.

Image courtesy of Adam Wilson

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After we published this fact check, we contacted Alister Jack to request a correction regarding this claim.

Mr Jack has not corrected this claim.

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