Alex Salmond: Brexit Could Mean Scottish Independence Referendum in Two Years

The former Scottish first minister also urged the "Remain" campaign to be less "negative."

Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond in Aberdeen, Scotland, May 8, 2015. Salmond has said a Brexit could trigger a Scottish independence referendum within two years.Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Alex Salmond has said that Britain leaving the European Union could trigger a Scottish independence referendum within two years.

Speaking to the AFP, the former SNP First Minister of Scotland said: “I think the referendum will be a damn close-run thing.”

Nicola Sturgeon said if we get dragged out of Europe against our will that would be the change in material circumstances that could lead to another referendum.

“So I think if that circumstance came about there will be an out referendum, it will occur within the two years period.”

The SNP won a third term of government in Scotland earlier this month on a manifesto that allows for an independence referendum to be called “if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people” or if there is a “significant and material change”" in circumstances.

Scotland leaving the European Union against the wishes of its voters could fulfil the second condition.

Salmond, who is now a Westminster MP, also called on Prime Minister David Cameron to make a less “negative” case for staying in the EU.

“The right campaign in order to engender the enthusiasm of Europe is to say: this is what we think Europe should be doing. This is the Europe we can build, the Europe we can seek,” he said.

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