Letter to Sturgeon
Salmond: ‘Don’t delay talks on independence’
Alex Salmond wants immediate action from Nicola Sturgeon
Alex Salmond has expressed dismay over Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to block his Alba Party’s call for an immediate start on independence negotiations.
It has been claimed that the SNP leader will instruct her newly-elected MSPS to oppose such a motion which Alba plans to table in the first week of the new parliament.
In a statement issued today Mr Salmond said that in every election campaign there is a “defining moment” and Ms Sturgeon’s indications that she would order SNP MSPs to oppose an Alba motion in the Scottish Parliament instructing the Scottish Government to begin independence negotiations “is exactly such a moment”.
Mr Salmond, who has written to Ms Sturgeon asking her to rethink her intentions, said: “If a group of Alba MSPs are elected it can only be as part of an independence supermajority.
“Therefore any intention by the SNP leadership to obstruct what would be a clear mandate from the Scottish people risks offering a veto on Scotland’s Future to Boris Johnson. That cannot be allowed to happen yet again.
“That is why I am writing today to Nicola, urging her to think again and to put the country before party.”
Mr Salmond’s party has also said an independent Scotland should negotiate from a position of no debt inherited from the UK.
In a major shift from 2014, it says that the post pandemic financial markets mean that Scotland should not take a share of UK debt as part of “building a new nation”. Nor should Scotland seek an equivalent share of non territorial assets through a sterling currency union.
“Territorial assets are clear. Monetary assets and liabilities should be left with London,” it says.
The SNP Growth Commission proposed an independent Scotland should pay an annual “solidarity” payment of around £5.3bn to be transferred to the UK as a price for Scotland’s independence.
In his letter to Ms Sturgeon Mr Salmond states: “While you have chosen to pause preparations for independence, during the Covid pandemic, the time for any further delay has surely passed.
“If the outcome of the election is an independence majority it will be incumbent on you as the leader of the largest party in the Scottish Parliament to work with others in the parliament who support independence to take matters forward with the necessary urgency that the recovery from the pandemic and the need for economic and social reconstruction requires.”
Mr Salmond has also issued a May Day call to the Yes Movement urging every independence supporter to “seize the opportunity of this Election to secure the Independence Supermajority which can kickstart the process of taking Scotland to independence.”
He said “every Independence supporter in the land, that they must use their vote on Thursday to elect a strong team of Alba MSPs. These are the circumstances in which the Scottish Government will have no choice but to implement the mandate for progress on Independence and do so as a matter of urgency.”
Mr Salmond’s appeal for more urgency on independence comes as Boris Johnson threatens to take the SNP to the Supreme Court to put a stop to a second Scottish independence referendum.
Legal advice from 2011 suggests the Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with the referendum without approval from the UK Parliament.
Polls have shown support for independence slipping. A Savanta Comres survey last week found 42% would back independence, 49% support the union. When ‘don’t knows’ were excluded that gave a 54-46 split in favour of the union.
LETTER TO NICOLA STURGEON
I note your interview comments of yesterday, on the BBC Today programme suggesting that SNP MSPs would be ordered not to support any motion tabled by Alba instructing the Scottish Government to initiate Independence negotiations with Westminster, following the election of a parliament with an Independence Supermajority.
While you have chosen to pause preparations for Independence, during the Covid pandemic, the time for any further delay has surely passed.
If the outcome of the Election is an Independence majority it will be incumbent on you as the Leader of the largest party in the Scottish Parliament to work with others in the Parliament who support Independence to take matters forward with the necessary urgency that the recovery from the pandemic and the need for economic and social reconstruction requires.
Any continuing refusal by you to support a motion in the Scottish Parliament to instruct the Scottish Government to implement what would be a clear mandate from the Scottish people in the Election, risks surrendering not just a veto but the initiative on Scotland’s Future to Boris Johnson. That cannot be allowed to continue.
Alba stands ready to put country before party and to strengthen the Scottish Parliament in the face of any Westminster refusal to respect the mandate of the Scottish people. I now urge you to do the same.
Yours for Scotland
MAY DAY CALL TO THE YES MOVEMENT
As the First Minister who led the Yes Campaign in the 2014 Independence Referendum, I am writing to appeal directly to you to take the opportunity which this Election presents to move Scotland towards Independence next Thursday 6 May – and to progress that case with urgency and determination.
We need Independence now more than ever – to recover fully from the health impact of the pandemic and to bring about the social and economic reconstruction which Scotland needs.
This can be Scotland’s Independence Election – the moment when we finally determine to take Scotland forward to a better future as an Independent country.
I am the leader of Alba and thus I will not be First Minister following the Election. However, I do intend to lead a strong group of MSPs who will put country before party and work with all of those who take Scotland’s side on Independence.
In the first week after the Election, Alba will table a motion inviting the Scottish Parliament to instruct the Scottish Government to begin Independence negotiations, following the election of an Independence Supermajority.
In every campaign there is a defining moment on which the outcome of the election pivots.
Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on the Today programme, that the SNP will not support a motion in the Scottish Parliament instructing the Scottish Government to begin Independence negotiations, is such a moment.
If a group of Alba MSPs are elected it will be at the head of an Independence Supermajority. Therefore refusal by the SNP to instruct the Scottish Government to back what would be a clear mandate from the Scottish people in the Election, risks surrendering the veto and initiative on Scotland’s Future to Boris Johnson. That cannot be allowed to continue to happen.
That is why I have written today to Nicola Sturgeon urging her to think again and to put country before party.
It is why I am also issuing this rallying call to the Yes Movement, urging us to seize the opportunity of this Election to secure the Independence Supermajority which can propel Scotland to Independence.
The SNP’s statement yesterday is a clear message to every Independence supporter in the land that they must cast their list vote for Alba on Thursday to elect a team of Alba MSPs – to maximise the pressure on an incoming Scottish Government to implement the mandate for progress on Independence as a matter of urgency.