Former First Minister voice new poll support

Second indy referendum ‘inevitable’ says Salmond

Alex Salmond on MarrA second independence referendum is “inevitable”, says former First Minister Alex Salmond who claims three issues are driving the move towards another poll.

These are the Westminster Government’s failure to deliver fully on its pledges; membership of the European Union issue and the policy on austerity.

Speaking on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Salmond said the only question is when the next referendum will take place.

He said: “I think a second independence referendum is inevitable. The question is not the inevitability, it’s the timing and that is very much in the hands of Nicola Sturgeon.

“I can see three issues which are moving things towards a second referendum on a timescale yet to be determined. One is the refusal to deliver the vow. The vow was about home rule, devo to the max, near federalism to quote Gordon Brown. That has not been delivered as yet at least in the Scotland Bill so that’s an issue.

“The second issue is one that’s been cast up quite a lot and that’s the European issue. If you had a situation and circumstance where Scotland voted to stay in the European Union in the referendum but was dragged out on the votes of the people of England then that would be a material change of circumstance and the third thing emerging of course comes out from the budget and the welfare bill which is austerity.

“Instead of getting devo to the max we’re getting austerity to the max and that divergent view of what’s right in social terms between Scotland and England is another issue which is moving things towards another referendum.”

On the issue of Conservatives’ plans for English votes for English laws (Evel) he said: “If you were doing it properly you would have an English parliament because you have to have some sort of symmetry between what’s happening in Northern Ireland, what’s happening in Wales, what’s happening in Scotland, what’s happening in England.

“There are four nations in these islands and if you were to take the Prime Minister at his word and this was an equal partnership then each of these nations would have equality with each other and that would mean an English parliament.”

He added: “An English parliament is not independence. You can have an English parliament within a federation and a home rule situation.”

Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said: “Alex Salmond’s priorities are all wrong.”

Photo: Alex Salmond on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show

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