Ruth Davidson has accused the SNP of seeking to “weaponise Brexit” in a bid to boost support for Scottish independence ahead of a possible second referendum.
The Scottish Tory leader claimed that nationalists are “cranking up the grievance machine in an attempt to push people towards the exit door”.
Edinburgh Central MSP Ms Davidson travelled to London to warn politicians there that they must “not dismiss the challenge the SNP poses, no matter how weak the case for independence may seem”.
Despite Scotland having voted against independence in 2014, Ms Davidson said that the European Union referendum last year – in which most Scots voted to remain part of the EU, but the UK voted to leave –meant there was now the “grim possibility” of another ballot north of the border.
But she said that while some people may “think that separation is inevitable” in the “seemingly endless” constitutional turmoil, she argued the Brexit vote had actually weakened the case for Scotland leaving the UK.
In a speech at the London School of Economics, the Scottish Conservative leader insisted: “Despite the uncertainty, the insecurity, and the challenges, the case for the Union – our Union – remains strong, if not stronger, than it ever has.
“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.”