- Conservative members would rather break up the United Kingdom and destroy their own party than see Brexit stopped.
- A new YouGov poll finds hardline views on Europe and the UKs future among those soon to choose the next prime minister.
- A clear majority would rather Scotland and Northern Ireland left the UK and would be willing to accept significant damage to the economy, if it allowed Brexit to go ahead.
- The findings come ahead of the next round of voting in the Conservative party leadership contest.
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LONDON — Conservative members would rather break up the United Kingdom, and destroy their own party, than stay in the European Union, according to a new poll.
The latest YouGov poll of Conservative party members, who will soon be charged with choosing the UK’s next prime minister, suggests they would opt to see both Scotland and Northern Ireland leave the UK, if it was the only way to ensure the UK leaves the EU.
Sixty three per cent say they would rather Scotland left the UK if it secured Brexit, with 61% willing to accept "significant damage" to the economy and 59% willing to see Northern Ireland leave the UK.
A further 54% would want Brexit to go ahead even if it meant the destruction of their own party.
The poll suggests that Brexit has hardened the divide over Europe in the party. It found that 46% of members would now be "happy" to have Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage as their leader, with just 40% unhappy.
Overall, Conservative party members now see the Brexit Party as their biggest threat, with 67% describing it as a "big threat" compared to just 34% saying the same of Labour.
Views on Europe appear to have hardened significantly in the race to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, with a majority now saying it would be unacceptable for their next leader to be opposed to leaving the EU without a deal.
Brexit has put strains on the constituent nations of the UK with questions over the post-Brexit border with Ireland and Scottish independence dominating UK political discussion since Britain voted to leave.
The poll findings come ahead of the second round of the Conservative leadership contest.
Tory MPs will on Tuesday afternoon vote on who should proceed to the next round, with the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson expected to win by a large margin.
The remaining candidates will then take place in a televised hustings event on BBC 1 at 20.00 (BST.)
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