Salmond reveals plot to force Scottish independence vote – even if Supreme Court says no
Alex Salmond warned independence is ‘switching off’ voters
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The former first minister led Scotland’s failed bid for independence during the historic referendum in 2014, when the country voted against it by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent. But at the end of March, Mr Salmond made a surprise return to frontline politics with the formation of the pro-independence Alba Party – just six weeks before the Scottish election. Recent polls suggest Alba is unlikely to make any significant gains from the election, but he is pushing for a pro-independence “super-majority” of MSPs in the Scottish parliament to help his latest referendum plot.
Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP will push ahead with a second referendum if her party can secure a majority – despite Mr Johnson continuing to strongly turn down all demands to transfer the relevant powers to Holyrood.
Now Mr Salmond is again attempting to ramp up the pressure on the Prime Minister by threatening to bypass him and the Supreme Court to force through a second independence referendum.
In a clip posted by Mail+ on its Twitter page, he said: “The real influence of Alba wouldn’t necessarily be the number of people we elect, and I think we will elect across Scotland.
“Our significance in what will happen afterwards if there is any backslide on independence.”
The reporter replied: “So you think she might backslide on independence?
Mr Salmond says: “There hasn’t been too many great displays of enthusiasm over the last seven years.”
The journalist then presses the Alba leader further: “Would you go ahead with a referendum, even if Boris Johnson says no and the Supreme Court says no?”
“I think Boris Johnson will be in an incredibly difficult position if we have a super-majority of 80 or 90 MSPs backing independence in the new parliament, and that will put the Prime Minister in an extraordinary difficult position.
The reporter presses for an answer from Mr Salmond, by asking: “But would you go ahead and just do it anyway?”
Mr Salmond replies: “You’re making the assumption that Boris Johnson will still be around in two weeks’ time and that is quite a large assumption.
“I think a puff of wind would blow the Prime Minister over at the moment.
“I don’t see him as a dominating figure in the political landscape – he’s not half the Prime Minister even David Cameron was.
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“If it came to it, then I do believe we should organise a plebiscite in Scotland.”
The latest threat from Mr Salmond comes after he warned if Alba succeeds in getting MSPs elected to Holyrood, the party will put forward a motion instructing the Scottish Government to start independence negotiations with Boris Johnson.
He said: “If the people of Scotland back Alba on Thursday, in the first week we will lay a motion instructing the Scottish Government to commence independence negotiations with the UK Government.
“Then the Scottish Parliament can get on with the job of delivering independence.”
Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon also challenged Mr Johnson to again oppose plans for a second independence referendum in court.
She warned that only the courts could prevent another historic vote from happening.
The SNP leader told Sky News: “I’m saying if Boris Johnson wants to stop it, he would have to take legal action,” Sturgeon told Sky.
“If Boris Johnson didn’t do that, by definition it would be a legal referendum.
“If he did do that, the courts would decide.”
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