The SNP have learned nothing from watching Theresa May’s attempts to negotiate a deal to leave the European Union, according to the Lib Dems’ deputy leader.
Jo Swinson argued that Scottish independence would be even worse than the difficulties faced by the UK in negotiating Brexit.
Ahead of her speech at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Hamilton on Friday, Ms Swinson said: “Every day as the chaos unfolds, we see how hard leaving the European Union will be.
“Every form of Brexit will make us poorer, it will put jobs at risk and it will weaken us on the global stage.
“What was supposed to be the ‘easiest trade deal in human history’ has proved to be anything but.
“Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have learned nothing from watching Theresa May negotiate our way out of Europe.
“Breaking a union of 40 years is destroying our country, I dread to think what dismantling a union of more than 300 years would do.”
Ms Swinson also accused Nicola Sturgeon of using Brexit as political leverage to increase support for a second Scottish independence referendum.
She added: “Instead of concentrating on improving our schools and investing in mental health support, the First Minister is more interested in how she can use Brexit to break up our United Kingdom.”
SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “Independence is the opposite of Brexit – it’s about Scotland joining Europe and the world as an equal partner – not about throwing up new barriers like Brexit does.
“It will allow Scotland to make our own decisions about our future, rather than having Tory governments and catastrophes like Brexit imposed on us.
“But it speaks volumes that even in the midst of Tory Brexit chaos, the Lib Dems’ first instinct is to attack the SNP.
“The reality is that Westminster’s shambolic handling of Brexit is making the case for independence stronger every day.”