THE SNP is “pushing voters away” by refusing to accept Brexit and embracing the EU, its leadership has been warned.

Speaking against a pro-EU resolution at the SNP conference, Shetland delegate Brian Nugent said the party was alienating thousands of its own supporters who voted Leave.

He said: “One third of SNP voters voted to Leave. We don’t have voters on tap. We can’t turn them on and off when you feel like. We have a situation where a lot of our voters are not happy with something that we keep going on about. We are pushing voters away.

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“When it comes to the second referendum, are they just going to come flocking back?”

Mr Nugent, a hospital porter who chaired the Yes Shetland group in 2014, went on: “We need to get a policy Leavers and Remainers feel comfortable with, and we don’t have that at the moment. We’re pushing voters away. Let’s bring them back by adopting a different policy.”

However Brexit minister Mike Russell said that if the resolution was rejected it would amount to conference voicing its approval of Brexit, something two-thirds of Scots opposed.

He also called on the UK government to “stop the rot” on Brexit and set out a three-point plan to fix the EU negotiations, which enter their fifth round on Monday.

He said the UK should commit to staying in the EU single market and customs union, permanently guarantee the rights of all EU citizens, and amend the Brexit Bill to remove a devolution “power grab”.

He said: “At this crucial time for our country, the Tories have decided to give up governing.

“The chaos inside the UK Cabinet must not be allowed to damage Scotland and the UK any more than it already has done.

“It is essential that the tone with Brussels is re-set, the devolved administrations are listened to and business and investors are given some much-needed certainty.”

MEP Alyn Smith said the EU underpinned so much of what Scots took for granted in society.

He said: “On EU stuff, I went straight to angry, and I’m still there. We will fight this. We will fight for Scotland’s best interests and our rights as citizens.

“The EU is not perfect. We saw that in the EU’s response and the international community’s response to Catalonia. But out policy is independence in Europe. Now is the time to unite round that. Scotland’s best future is emphatically independence in Europe.”

Delegates later passed the resolution, which demanded protection of EU safeguards through Brexit and praised the EU single market, “overwhelmingly” on a show of cards.