- Title: Scottish nationalists undermined by Brexit in coastal towns
- Date: 30th May 2017
- Summary: DRUMNADROCHIT, INVERNESS, SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (RECENT - LATE MAY 2017) (REUTERS) URQUHART CASTLE OVERLOOKING LOCH NESS
- Embargoed: 13th June 2017 18:44
- Keywords: Scottish National Party SNP Brexit election British general election Nicola Sturgeon fishermen Angus Robertson election
- Location: DRUMNADROCHIT, INVERNESS, EDINBURGH; LAMBERTON, PETERHEAD, TYRIE, BUCKIE AND ELGIN, MORAY CONSTITUENCY; SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: DRUMNADROCHIT, INVERNESS, EDINBURGH; LAMBERTON, PETERHEAD, TYRIE, BUCKIE AND ELGIN, MORAY CONSTITUENCY; SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J29XL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The twin questions of nationalism and the European Union are muddying the political waters in Scotland as Britons prepare to vote in a general election on June 8.
What do you do, if like Scottish fishermen Peter Bruce and Brian Buchan, you are a nationalist who wants out of Europe?
Lifelong Scottish National Party (SNP) supporters suddenly find themselves unable to vote for Nicola Sturgeon's party, because they don't like the fact that she wants to keep Scotland in the EU.
Bruce has been a fisherman in Peterhead all his adult life, like generations of his family before him.
But the northeast Scottish harbour is a much quieter place than when he was a teenager and Bruce blames the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy.
Bruce feels betrayed by the SNP's campaign to rejoin the EU and for the first time, he will vote for Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives.
"It is a very hard choice for me because I've always voted for the SNP in Scotland before but I'm a fishermanâ€¦.I want to leave the EU. The Common Fisheries Policy has been a disaster for the fishing industry. There's no way I can vote for the SNP," he said.
Once a supporter of Scottish independence, he's now moved away from that position because of Sturgeon's drive for an independent Scotland to rejoin the bloc.
"I don't see the point of transferring power from Westminster to Brussels and that's all you would be doing, becoming part of a small country in the EU," Bruce said.
Fellow fisherman Buchan, once an SNP member now says it would be "treachery" to support them in this election.
"Why leave a union of 300 years to jump into bed with a union of 40 years? No thanks," he said.
Over 100 km west of Peterhead is the picturesque constituency of Moray - which had the highest Brexit vote in all of Scotland in the referendum last year.
Moray voted to Remain with a margin of only 122 votes - 50.1 percent in, 49.9 percent out.
Angus Robertson is leader of the SNP in Westminster and is Moray's member of parliament.
Half of his constituents voted for Brexit and his party's persistence on remaining in the EU could cause him problems at the ballot box on June 8.
"People in Moray didn't vote for the kind of extreme, damaging hard Brexit that the Tories (Conservatives) are pursuing down south. We were told that we could be like Norway, as rich as Norway, we could be in the single European market but outside the European Union. What's happened to that?" Robertson said whilst campaigning in Elgin.
Robertson's Conservative rival is Douglas Ross. He argues that the tight vote in the Brexit referendum means the town is ready for a change.
On the cobbled streets of Moray's commercial town of Elgin, Leave voters were torn between feelings of nationalism versus a desire to leave the EU.
"It still doesn't change my belief that the SNP is for Scotland and we really need somebody on our side," said Jennie Thow, who has voted SNP all her life.
"The vote has been cast. Public have spoken. And Nicola Sturgeon is not paying any attention to that view whatsoever," said Caroline Meir.
Polls show the SNP is set to win easily in Scotland in June, though May's Conservatives are expected to take some seats from them as the issue of keeping the United Kingdom together takes centre stage.
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