Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has come under fire after appearing to compare a referendum on Scottish independence to a civil war.
In a speech to the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh, the MSP said she did not want Brexit to be used to “start yet another fratricidal conflict”.
The term ‘fratricide’ literally means the murdering of one’s own family members. However it is also used to describe a civil war.
Davidson, who once famously posed sitting on a tank, also told the audience that independence means Scotland would “join post-Trump America and pre-election France as this year’s focal point for global instability”.
The comments were immediately condemned as ‘inflammatory’ by the SNP. An SNP spokesman said: “The Tories have completely lost the plot – and Ruth Davidson’s use of inflammatory language by comparing legitimate political debate as ‘fratricidal conflict’ just shows how rattled she is.
“And no wonder, given her role as apologist in chief for right-wing Westminster Tories who now think they can do anything they want to Scotland and get away with it.”
The comments have also led to furious calls on social media for the Scottish Conservative leader to be taken to task. Some users claimed Davidson’s rhetoric smacked of a threat of armed conflict should Nicola Sturgeon call a second independence referendum.
Davidson’s comments follow a poll which showed half of Scots favour holding a second independence referendum within two years. Support for independence remains roughly where it was after the last referendum. However independence supporters are confident that once Article 50 is triggered by the UK Government and the full ramifications of Brexit become apparent then support for a Yes vote will increase.