Interview: Alex Salmond on indyref 2 - "Bring it on"

Former first minister says second independence poll is “inevitable”

ALEX SALMOND has said he is in a “confident, perky” mood on the prospects of a second Scottish independence referendum, adding: “Bring it on.” 

In an exclusive interview done in collaboration between CommonSpace and Novara Media, the former first minister spoke about the timing for a second independence referendum, the issue of currency and Scotland's place in the “uropean community.

He made his comments ahead of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in Edinburgh today outlining her five key ‘Brexit tests’ which could determine whether Scotland faces a second independence referendum within the next two years.

In it she will outline the 'Scottish interests’ and what a UK Government should take it to account in any future negotiation with the EU. 

Salmond said that his preferred option on the EU referendum was for the UK to remain, and that former prime minister David Cameron had been foolish to call the vote: "I would not have created the circumstances that have led to the latest surge of support and interest in independence," he said. "I thought it would have been better for the UK to remain in the EU.

"But in terms of the urgency of the situation, in terms of getting Scotland's place in Europe consolidated as an independent country, then given that's the stage in which this is taking place, then bring it on and let's see what the conclusion is this time around."

He commended Sturgeon’s political positioning during the referendum and in its aftermath, suggesting that the first minister is at an advantage with two mandates from the last Holyrood election and from the EU referendum result in Scotland.

"Nicola has two mandates at the present moment. That compares to Theresa May, who has no direct mandate from the people at all." Alex Salmond

He said: "Nicola Sturgeon has played this very well. Nicola has two mandates at the present moment.

"She has a mandate from the election in May, re-electing her as first minister with over 47 per cent of the vote and secondly she has a mandate from the Scottish people by a margin of 24 per cent to keep Scotland in the EU.

"That compares to Theresa May, who has no direct mandate from the people at all."

"It's certainly true, as Nicola said, that she’ll be reviewing the whole platform. My opinion is you develop a policy conducive with the time and, as circumstances have changed, it would be unusual for your policy not to change." Alex Salmond on currency

On the issue of the currency question during an indyref 2 campaign - an issue which has taken up a large part of the official debate on the economics of independence - Salmond, said: "Nicholas McPherson, now freed from under the thumb of George Osborne, as an independent academic has written an excellent piece pointing out the economic opportunities an independent Scotland would have in this context.

"It's certainly true, as Nicola said, that she’ll be reviewing the whole platform. My opinion is you develop a policy conducive with the time and, as circumstances have changed, it would be unusual for your policy not to change."

Picture courtesy of Ewan Mcintosh

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