Friday, 16 Apr 2021

Gloating Salmond challenges Boris Johnson as he warns referendum ‘cannot be denied’

Alex Salmond discusses using ‘super majority’ in Holyrood

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Scotland’s former First Minister has laid down the challenge to the Prime Minister ahead of the May 6 Scottish parliamentary elections. Mr Salmond recently founded the new Alba Party to spearhead his push to see Scotland leave the United Kingdom. The former SNP leader has said his aim in founding Alba was to maximise the number of pro-independence lawmakers in the election and in doing so pile pressure on Boris Johnson to grant another vote on Scottish independence.

Mr Salmond told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it is very important to have the sort of majority for independence in the Holyrood parliament if the people vote for it.

“Because it strengthens measurably Scotland’s hand in negotiating with a Tory Prime Minister.

“Boris Johnson casts this argument of independence merely the First Minister against the Prime Minister, the tories against the SNP, then he will likely continue to say no to Scotland.

“If he has to stand against the parliament and the people then it changes the power dynamic considerably hence the importance of a super-majority.”

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He continued: “A supermajority in the parliament, that is composed of not just one party the SNP, but other pro-independence parties like Alba will change that power balance considerably.

“Because no Tory prime minister wants to be trying to face down an entire parliament or an entire people.

“That would be a very very difficult position for Boris Johnson.” 

Mr Salmond was pressed on what the pro-independence movement would do if the UK Government continued to deny a second referendum even in the event of a super-majority at Holyrood.

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He said: “There are a whole range of actions you can take under these circumstances, you can look how we have mobilised the legitimacy that comes from a parliamentary majority.

“To look at firstly referendum and plebiscite can be held by the Scottish parliament, you can look at international opinion, you can look at legal action in the Scottish courts.

“You can look at international legal action, you can look at mobilising peaceful demonstrations in Scotland.

“The whole panoply of things a parliament with legitimacy can do.”

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Mr Salmond was one of the leading proponents for the first vote on the union in 2014, but quit as First Minister after a majority of Scots voted in favour of remaining in the UK.

He had led the SNP party for 20 years.

The former Scottish First Minister was first elected as an MSP in 1987, where he defeated the incumbent Tory MP Albert McQuarrie from the Banff and Buchan seat.

He said the aim of the Alba party was to work towards a “successful, socially just, environmentally responsible, independent country”.

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