Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Scotland will break free from rest of the UK

By Paul Ward

A majority of people in Northern Ireland believe Scotland will become an independent country despite the No vote in last year's referendum, according to a study.

And people in Northern Ireland also appear to be the most content with how much Westminster spends here.

The findings are from a survey of more than 7,000 voters across the UK by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh.

In Scotland, 69% believe there will be a split from the rest of the UK.

While that is the highest, 59% of those surveyed in England, 54% in Wales and 59% in Northern Ireland also think that Scotland will eventually leave the UK.

The level of engagement around the referendum looks to have had a legacy, with 76% of Scots who took part saying they will vote in May's general election, compared to 63% in England and 64% in Wales.

However, that figure sinks to 55% in Northern Ireland.

The contrast is bigger among young people, with 65% of 18 and 19-year-olds in Scotland saying they will vote, compared to just 34% in England.

The survey also found that satisfaction with the UK's current constitutional arrangements varies. In England, 43% believe their country receives less government spending than it is due, while the figure is 44% in Scotland, and 68% in Wales.

It is only 37% in Northern Ireland - the lowest in the UK.

The researchers found that there is majority agreement that a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union should be decided by a majority of votes across the UK, instead of individual countries being allowed to veto the result.

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