Many Britons expect UK to break up -- poll

Half of Britons believe the United Kingdom could break up within a decade, a poll has found.

Showing how Brexit has strained the ties that bind England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

That's because Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union, while England and Wales voted to leave.

The fate of the union is already coming under scrutiny at the start of campaigning for a December 12 snap election.

The Scottish National Party could end up kingmakers if it makes significant gains.

And its leader Nicola Sturgeon says it would seek a "progressive alliance" with opposition Labour if there's a hung parliament.

But only in return for a new referendum on Scottish independence.

Something Labour leaders have neither endorsed nor ruled out.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SNP LEADER, NICOLA STURGEON, SAYING:

"So just as we have done over the past three years, SNP MPs will work with other parties to try to stop the UK from being taken out of the European Union. And if there is a hung parliament after this election, an outcome that could give Scotland the balance of power, SNP MPs would seek to form a progressive alliance to lock the Tories out of government."

Scottish voters narrowly rejected leaving the United Kingdom in 2014.

But the SNP nationalists have used pro-Europe feeling in Scotland to try to boost support for splitting away.

Many hope an independent Scotland would be able to remain in or re-join the European Union.