Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who chaired the official Leave campaign, described the First Minister's constant threats for independence as little more than "good politics" as she looks to broker a separate Brexit deal for Scotland.
Since Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, Ms Sturgeon has demanded a “separate deal” for Scotland, which would see the nation retaining its membership of the single market.
In a 50-page document titled “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, which was released by the SNP released in December, the Scottish Government proposed a “differentiated” Brexit arrangement from the rest of the UK.
Ms Sturgeon insisted the plan would “respect the voice and protest the interests of Scotland” after 62 per cent of Scots voted to Remain in the European Union, and said if her demands were not met she would attempt to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.
However, speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Stuart said she could not see where the First Minister would find the extra votes to breakaway from the UK given that Scotland voted 55-45 per cent to remain in 2014.
Gisela Stuart does not believe Nicola Sturgeon has the backing for independence
I cannot see, currently, where an extra support would come from If she had to hold another referendum
The 61-year-old said: “If you consider that the Scottish independence referendum was lost, I cannot see, currently, where an extra support would come from If she had to hold another referendum.
“I view a lot of the Nicola Sturgeon demands for remaining in the single market – the threats to temporarily leave the single market – as good politics, rather than a genuine threat because I think if she had another independence referendum – where would the extra votes come from?”
However, a former advisor to Alex Salmond, who was First Minister during the 2014 referendum, recently said there was now enough support and Ms Sturgeon would be successful in her plans to leave the Union.
Kevin Pringle told the BBC: “My own view is that it will be much easier to get people back again – if you like, the stray Yessers – and even if that’s all happened then the referendum, if there’s to be another, would be Yes.
Alex Salmond has been banging the drum for a second independence referendum in recent weeks
Gisela Stuart chaired the official Vote Leave campaign
“I think the framing of the referendum would be the Brexit situation, but what Nicola Sturgeon would be keen to do is put Brexit in the context of the democratic deficit which Scotland faces.”
But Mr Pringle’s views contradict those of Ms Stuart, who believes after years of political uncertainty Scots simply want to settle down.
“I think the Scottish people they had a general election, two referenda – they now want their government to get on with governing,” she said.
Ms Stuart was also critical of the SNP over their anti-Trident position.
In a vote in the House of Commons in July, each of Ms Sturgeon’s 54 SNP MPs voted against the renewal of the United Kingdom’s independent nuclear deterrent Trident.
After the recent failed missile test, the First Minister, who has described the weapons system as “immoral” and “impractical”, tweeted: “This is a hugely serious issue. There should be full disclosure of what happened, who knew what/when and why the House of Commons wasn’t told.”
Ms Stuart, however said: "I always found the SNP's position on Trident curious.
"On the one hand argued against Trident, but if I remember rightly argued in favour of remaining a member of Nato.
"If you are a member of Nato you also subscribe to a nuclear deterrent, so even if you do not have nuclear weapons yourself, you do commit making your aircraft, for example, available in the case of a nuclear strike.
“So I think their defence position has always been curious anyway, and to my mind remains curious.”