A north-east MSP has urged Westminster politicians to think “long and hard” about the impact the UK’s split from the European Union will have on Scotland.
SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson said the country’s “interests” were clear after Aberdeenshire voted to remain a part of the EU.
Across the region, 76,445 people voted to stay and 62,516 to go.
Vote Leave has pointed to Mr Stevenson’s constituency – home to the major fishing ports of Peterhead and Fraserburgh – as one of its “heartlands”.
The politician said it was too early to be talking about a second independence referendum, but added the promise of secure EU membership in exchange for a No vote during the first would have to be “taken into account”.
Mr Stevenson said: “I think if people at Westminster look sensibly at this, they will think long and hard about the implications for Scotland – which is that 32 areas voted to remain.
“I don’t think this is the moment for us to immediately be talking about another referendum.
“But clearly if Scotland is dragged kicking and screaming out of the EU, one of the core promises imprinted in the independence referendum was that only by voting No could we stay in the EU.”
He added: “We will always defend Scotland’s interests and it is clear what Scotland’s interests are – 32 areas voted to remain.
“That is a significant thing that has to be taken account of.”
Reforms to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has caused widespread anger among north-east trawlermen.
However, Mr Stevenson has called for reform of the fishing industry from within the EU with the aid of the UK Government.
He added: “I certainly think the fishing industry should move up the agenda but I thought that in any event, whatever the outcome and one of the ways that the UK can respond to that is by giving much greater power and prominence to Scottish fisheries.”
Vote Leave’s Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire co-ordinator Ryan Houghton said the fishing communities of the north-east had played a key role in the campaign’s success in Aberdeenshire.
He added: “We have paid special attention to Peterhead, Fraserburgh, these strong areas. I mean, you are talking 70% against 30% in some of these areas.
“There were points where we just stopped looking at the boxes for these towns because they were just coming back so strong.
“People are not satisfied with the way things are at the moment and they want some positive change and governments have to wake up and react to that.”