Writer Val McDermid warns Brexit could lead to second Scottish referendum


A vote to leave the EU could create a groundswell movement for a second referendum on Scottish independence, according to one of Scotland's most successful authors.

Val McDermid, who is well known for her suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill that were turned into TV series Wire In The Blood, also said she would not follow Leave campaigners Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove "out of a burning building".

McDermid, who is from Kirkcaldy in Fife, said she is keen to remain in the EU for both practical and cultural reasons.

She told the Press Association: "For practical reasons, as a writer the EU makes it easier to protect your rights and revenues and intellectual properties in the complexities of the digital world and those copyright issues.

"I also think culturally we have a close connection to Europe, it enhances our culture and makes it deeper and wider. The last thing we should do is look inward.

"Also I feel European, the most time I spend out of Europe and particularly in America, the more European I feel."

Speaking in Edinburgh, she added: "If we vote to leave, that creates issues for Scotland. It would be possible to argue we should have a second referendum.

"It hasn't been straightforward to move on from the last one and people who voted to stay might be less inclined to stay if we aren't part of Europe, and there would be a strong groundswell for a second referendum if the vote is to leave.

"As for the leave campaign, like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, I wouldn't follow them out of a burning building."

McDermid will be presented with the outstanding contribution to crime fiction award at a ceremony on July 21 on the opening night of the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

The author co-founded the festival, as well as the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

On winning the award, she said: "They are always meaningful because writers exist in a vacuum of self-doubt. It doesn't matter how many books you compose, you see it as a misshapen thing with warts, so when you get that recognition it's reassuring you're not wasting your time."