A millionaire UKIP donor has declared there is "no chance" of Scotland leaving the UK if Britain votes to leave the EU.
Arron Banks, founder of the Leave.EU campaign, said Scotland would never vote to leave Britain because it didn't do so "at the peak of Scottish nationalism".
He rubbished warnings from pro-EU campaigners that Scotland could hold a second referendum and ultimately leave the UK if Britain votes to leave the EU.
In a debate in London, Banks said: "There's no chance of Scotland leaving, there's no chance of Wales leaving. We've been a union for 300 years – they had their opportunity, they were at the peak of Scottish nationalism and they still didn't do it."
Banks was going head-to-head with Will Straw from the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign at an event organised by the Foreign Press Association.
Straw said he was glad Banks was "so confident" and insisted Scotland's exit was a "real risk".
"If Scotland voted to stay in the EU – the polls at the moment suggest Scottish voters support continued EU membership at a rate of two to one – but overall the UK voted to leave, that could be a pretext for a second independence referendum and quite possibly the breakup of the UK," Straw said.
"So I think let's be really careful and think about all the implications of our leaving the EU before we take a step into the dark."
A referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU will be held before the end of 2017. David Cameron is seeking to secure a "better deal" from the bloc before the date is set, probably later this year.
Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Emily Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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