EU trying to ‘undo’ gains made in Brexit says Sammy Wilson
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Sammy Wilson, 68, has claimed support for Scottish, Irish and Welsh separatism could lead to a devastating blow for British nationalism in England. The DUP MP for East Antrim suggested the persistence of Celtic nationalists, particularly from the Scottish National Party, has worn away English support for the Union.
Mr Wilson told Express.co.uk: “I sometimes wonder, will the break-up of the United Kingdom come from England rather than the Celtic fringes where a lot of the whinging goes on.”
The DUP’s former Brexit spokesman added: “I do get concerned that increasingly Scotland is becoming more vociferous for independence and I have an even greater concern that there are many people in England who look upon Scotland and less so Northern Ireland and think ‘Well, if they want to go, let them go’.”
Unlike in Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish constituencies, anti-UK parties hold none of England’s 538 seats in the House of Commons.
Despite the lack of political presence, Wilson claimed voters in England could turn against the Union through English indifference.
The DUP’s treasury spokesman claimed: “It could come because the English simply lose interest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
“They are sick and tired of the whinging,” he added.
Wilson highlighted how the SNP used a “sense of victimhood” even when Scotland was offered additional funding for the NHS and social care.
“Even when the Government tells them they are getting money for their health service from this national insurance contribution [tax rise],” Wilson explained, “they are still complaining this is Scotland being trampled on.”
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“This is just mad.”
The Brexit-backing MP, who was first elected to the Commons in 2005, suggested nationalists had exploited this frailty in English support for the Union.
He said: “Nationalists, Scottish nationalists are one example but Irish nationalists are exactly the same, have now recognised that this is a weak point and they deliberately go out of their way to antagonise English people.”
Despite concerns about Unionism on either side of Berwick-upon-Tweed, the ex-Leave Means Leave campaigner insisted Ulster’s six Northern Irish counties remain supportive of the Union.
“I’m fairly sure,” Mr Wilson explained, “that there is no appetite for Northern Ireland breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom.”
Although he did not comment in detail about the state of the Union in Wales, the East Antrim MP’s comments about England and Scotland have been echoed by Unionist campaigners on the other side of the River Severn.
Speaking to Express.co.uk in July, the ex-director of the Welsh wing of the Vote Leave campaign, Matthew MacKinnon, said: “It suits their agenda to blame the English for everything.”
Polling on support for English independence has been limited.
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However, a Panelbase poll conducted in 2020 found support for English independence had reached an all-time high.
The survey indicated 34 percent of voters were in favour of England going in alone.
This was only two points behind the 36 percent that indicated their support for the Union.
Surprisingly, a narrow majority of supporters of the Conservative and Unionist Party revealed they would opt to vote to end close relations with their Celtic cousins.
But it is on English polling about Scotland where this supposed ambivalence to the Union becomes clearer.
A Savanta ComRes poll found that one in four English voters support Nicola Sturgeon’s mission to take Scotland out of the 314-year-old Union.
The poll also indicated that just under one in three English voters opposed Scottish independence.
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