Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has dismissed opinion polls showing support for Scottish independence is on the rise, saying arguments for separation “all slowly fall apart” under scrutiny.
The former north-east MSP said he was confident the case for the Union would win out against independence in any future referendum campaign.
His comments come on the back of more than 20 polls showing the majority of Scots now favour the breakup of the UK.
“I’ve seen all this before”, he said.
“The debate around the Union and independence has always, in my experience, fluctuated.
“When it comes down to the brass tacks, when it comes down to no longer playing the man, but playing the ball, in referendum campaigns or election campaigns, what we find is that the arguments unpick, people get serious about the debate.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tells #TheSundayShow, 'there isn't any panic' about Scottish independence in Whitehall….he says he has seen all the arguments before and they 'slowly fall apart' under scrutiny
— Dan O'Donoghue (@MrDanDonoghue) February 7, 2021
The SNP is expected to ask Westminster to transfer the necessary powers to hold a referendum if it wins a predicted majority in May, but Boris Johnson has repeatedly rejected calls for a second ballot.
SNP bosses published last month an 11-point routemap to a new vote that sets out how MSPs would pass their own referendum bill and dare the UK Government to challenge it in court if requests continue to be denied.
Asked how panicked Whitehall was about such a move, Mr Wallace said: “There isn’t really any panic about it.”