Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of trying to 'weaponise Brexit' in new push for independence
The Scottish Tory leader said the SNP was “cranking up the grievance machine in an attempt to push people towards the exit door” of a second referendum.
First Minister Ms Sturgeon has signalled she is ready to launch another divisive drive to break up Britain in “the next few weeks” if Theresa May does not back her plan for Scotland to remain in the EU’s single market.
Meanwhile, predecessor Alex Salmond has repeatedly predicted a rerun of the 2014 ballot in the autumn of 2018.
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But Ms Davidson used a speech at the London School of Economics to argue “all their attempts to weaponise Brexit to boost support for independence have simply not worked”.
She said last June’s EU referendum in which 62 per cent of Scots backed Remain meant the “grim possibility” of demands for another poll.
However, she insisted while some may “think that separation is inevitable”, the Brexit vote had actually made the case for independence “weaker and more illogical than ever”.
Scottish Tory leader Ms Davidson
Ms Davidson declared: “Despite the uncertainty, the insecurity, and the challenges, the case for the Union – our Union – remains strong, if not stronger, than it ever has.
The case for the Union – our Union – remains strong
“We just have to ensure that we make the right case, for an outward-looking Britain that provides us all with the opportunities and the stability we all crave.”
She said the SNP is “itching to get its own campaign bus into gear” and claimed the party will have “learnt from the tactics” of the successful Leave campaign.
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The Tory leader argued “the case for the Union must be made afresh, and we have to persuade people once again that our own Union of nations still works for us all”.
Ms Sturgeon has signalled she is ready to launch another divisive drive to break up Britain
Her latest intervention came after Mr Salmond said at the weekend that the “key battleground” for breaking up the UK would be trade links with the EU, rather than currency.
But latest Scottish Government figures show exports to the rest of the UK are worth four times as much as trade with Europe.
Ms Davidson said: “If everyone in Scotland agrees that free trade with Europe is important – and we do – it is literally impossible to deny that trade with the rest of the UK matters four times as much.”
Sturgeon's top moments Fri, December 9, 2016
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in pictures.
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Nicola Sturgeon visits Glaxo Smith Kline.
But she claimed the SNP “has no intention of using economics to make the case for independence” addling: “Instead, it is already cranking up the grievance machine in an attempt to push people towards the exit door.”
An SNP spokesman said: “Ruth Davidson is resorting to fantasy and delusion in trying to deny the economic catastrophe a Tory hard Brexit threatens Scotland with.
“We face being dragged out of the world’s biggest single market – which is around eight times larger than the UK’s alone – against our will, which shows that Theresa May and the Westminster Tories now think they can do anything they want to Scotland and get away with it.
Alex Salmond has repeatedly predicted a rerun of the 2014 ballot in the autumn of 2018
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale argued a federal UK would begin to fix a “failure of politics” reflected in support independence and the Brexit vote.
Speaking at University College London she said her plan for a new constitutional convention would bring power closer to people and communities in the face of a rise in populism.
Delegates at Scottish Labour’s conference in Perth later this month will be asked to back a motion calling for a “progressive federal structure” for the UK.
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