SCOTTISH actor Brian Cox is widely known for being a vocal campaigner for the independence movement having previously been a member of the Labour Party.

The Succession star revealed in 2015 that Labour had failed to live up to their basic principles and he instead joined the SNP.

Throughout his career, he’s starred in X-Men, Braveheart and the Jason Bourne franchise.

We’ve rounded up some of the 76-year-old's views on independence.

Why does Brian Cox support independence?

Cox has previously said that the “class-ridden” and “feudal” system of the UK drove him to put his support behind independence.

In an interview in August last year, Cox singled out privately-educated actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch and questioned whether he would be able to have an acting career today.

“I think it (the UK) is still class-ridden, it is still feudal, it is still everybody in their place. That is why I am keen on my country being free”, Cox said.

He added: “It has taken me years to come to that. I never believed it, but when you live with it as long as I have lived with it, and you realise how corrupt it all was – and certainly what we have seen over this last government, is just appalling, absolutely appalling.”

Why did he stop supporting Labour?

In an interview with Nicola Sturgeon at last year’s Edinburgh TV Festival, Cox spoke about his excitement at Labour’s landslide election victory in 1997.

He said that he was “passionate about socialism” but expressed his disappointment that the party then “systematically blew it”.

“Iraq was the thing that really did me in, and Tony Blair’s hubris over Iraq I just thought was awful”, Cox explained.

He has also previously clashed with current Labour leader Keir Starmer, telling him that "Scotland has always been sidelined".

Scotland ‘ripe for independence’

In the same interview, Cox said that he realised the only place he could find “social democracy” in the run up to the 2014 referendum was in his home country.

He told Sturgeon: “Anybody who comes here sees the difference between the north and the south.

“It’s so evident now, and Scotland has never been more ripe for it.”

Since the UK Supreme Court ruled that Scotland could not hold a second independence referendum without Westminster consent, there has been a surge in support for Yes.

Recent polling commissioned exclusively for The National revealed that support was at its second-highest level ever reached.

The National: Brian Cox has picked up several accolades throughout his career including a Golden Globe for SuccessionBrian Cox has picked up several accolades throughout his career including a Golden Globe for Succession (Image: .)

However, the actor has said that he wished “the people of Scotland would have a bit more confidence” when it came to independence.

He said: “Once we’ve got [confidence] we will all agree… you just look at this bunch of, I won’t say, but what we’ve been through and you go, you know, this is where we should be and we should have our own country and it should happen now.

“It shouldn’t be about personalities, it should be about country first, not politics, country first … and democracy.”

How has he contributed to the Yes campaign?

When the Yes movement launched a new video pushing the case for independence, one of their videos featured Cox’s voice.

The Yes Scot campaign previously released a short video demonstrating the ways in which the UK lagged behind the EU.

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A voiceover told viewers: “The choice for Scotland is one of two futures: a two-party system with the Tories and Labour, who both back a damaging Brexit that Scotland overwhelmingly voted against; or an independent Scotland with whichever Scottish Government we choose.”

He also voiced an SNP campaign video in 2020 in which he explained why Scotland “has what it takes to be an independent country”.

What does he make of a de facto referendum?

Speaking with Laura Kuenssberg earlier this month, Cox said that Sturgeon had been “canny” in her approach to a de facto independence referendum.

This came after it was revealed that SNP members will debate whether the next Westminster or Holyrood election should be used as a de facto referendum.

The move has proved divisive although recent polling for The National found that nearly 55% of voters would back pro-independence parties if the next General Election was fought on the basis of independence.

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Asked about the approach and if he was left feeling “frustrated”, Cox said: “I think Nicola has been very canny and she should be canny given the situation and it’s a hot potato.

“It’s been a hot potato for a long time so I think she’s following the right cause. If you consider what happened in the Catalan referendum which was an illegal referendum and they suffered as a result so she has to be very, very careful that we are doing it the right way.”

A 'different' United Kingdom

In the same interview, Cox said he wanted to see a “united federation” after independence.

“I really don’t believe that this is a break-up of the United Kingdom. I think it could be a different kind of united”, he said.

Cox added: “I would like to see a united federation where each country comes into its own and its sense of autonomy and can contribute as a result to a united federation where everybody comes together.

“At the moment it’s top heavy because it’s very south orientated and I feel that that needs to change, that needs to shift.”