Alex Salmond: Second Scottish independence referendum “almost upon us”

Former First Minister expresses pessimism about Nicola Sturgeon’s mission to keep Scotland in the European single market

FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond has said that a second referendum on Scottish independence is “almost upon us” at an event to mark the second anniversary of the independence referendum of 2014.

The comments were the strongest made by the former SNP leader, who was the most prominent figure in the movement for a Yes vote two years ago, concerning the timing of another referendum and were made against the backdrop of the UK’s shock vote to exit the EU in June.

Speaking at the re-launch of the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) he said: “The enthusiasm, the galvanisation that almost carried the Yes campaign to victory, is something that we have to recapture as the next test comes. And the next test in my estimation is almost upon us.”

Salmond was addressing the audience of independence supporters at the SIC, which was brought together today (18 September) in order to provide an organisational hub for the resurgent pro-independence movement.

In his keynote speech to the packed hall at St Luke’s in Glasgow’s Calton area, Salmond said that the vote for Brexit was the “mandate” for independence.

Watch the whole SIC event here

He said: “Brexit is not the reason for independence. But it is the mandate and the majority in parliament for an independence referendum.

“Why? Because page 23 of the SNP manifesto this year said if there is a material change in circumstances, a significant change such as Scotland being dragged out of the European Union against the will of the people, Scotland should have another referendum, and that position is supported by the greens.”

Salmond, who said at the beginning of the weekend of celebrations of the referendum that he estimated 2018 as the likely time for another referendum, said that he took this position because he believed that Current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s mission to protect Scotland’s place in the EU would fail.

“I believe Nicola Sturgeon will carry out her mandate to try and secure Scotland’s position in Europe.

“What I don’t expect to be won from Westminster is Nicola Sturgeon’s belief that Scotland should have its place within the European single marketplace.”

The SIC event was only one of several across Scotland to mark the anniversary, and mark the re-emergence of the Yes movement as a political force.

Picture courtesy of Documenting Yes

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