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The UK Labour party would be willing to allow a second referendum on Scottish independence, according to the party's number two, John McDonnell, contradicting party policy. If true, this would set it apart from Spain's centre-left PSOE who oppose holding a similar vote in Catalonia, even under agreement with Madrid.

During an event at the Edinburgh festival fringe, the Labour representative said that his party would not prevent a second vote. “We would not block something like that. We would let the Scottish people decide. That’s democracy.”

A survey published on Monday by politician and businessman Lord Ashcroft showed that most Scots want a new vote on independence in the next two years, once responses of "undecided" were removed. Of the 1019 people surveyed, 46% were in favour of Scottish independence, while 43% replied that they would rather remain in the UK.

Boris Johnson's Conservative government, like Theresa May's before it, has declared that it will not give its support to another referendum like the one held in 2014. That time, 55% of voters supported Scotland remaining within the UK.

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