Brexit to lead to Scottish independence vote in 2 years: Salmond

May 28, 2016 2:30 pm

File photo shows Scottish National Party (SNP)’s Alex Salmond.

Scottish National Party (SNP)’s Alex Salmond says the Scottish government would hold a new referendum to become independent within two years if the votes to leave the European Union.
“If you have the situation where in four weeks time votes remain and the rest of the UK, or England, drags out by voting to leave then that would justify in my opinion another referendum,” the SNP foreign affairs spokesman said in a televised EU debate.
The Scotland’s independence referendum would have to be held by 2018, said Salmond, who backs remaining in the EU, noting that this time the Scottish would vote for independence.
“In the circumstances of Scotland being threatened with being dragged out of the EU against their will I think the result would be yes this time,” the former Scottish First Minister also said.
In a referendum held on September 18, 2014, Scots voted 55-45 percent to preserve the 307-year-old political union with England and Wales as Great Britain.
EU membership has long been a contentious topic in Britain. Eurosceptics, who believe the UK would be better off outside the political and economic union, seek a withdrawal from the EU. They say leaving the EU would allow London to conduct its own trade negotiations, control immigration and break free from what they believe to be excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.
However, pro-Europeans warn the move would not only hurt the economy but could possibly trigger the break-up of the kingdom by prompting another Scottish independence vote.
Opinion polls show that support for Scotland’s independence remains under 50 percent, despite the rise in overall support for the SNP and pro-independence Scottish Greens to about 60 percent.
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