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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Scotland would seek independence referendum if England votes to leave EU : Salmond

Reuters , Saturday 20 Feb 2016
A man walks past a wall marked with each of Scotland's 32 local authority areas, at a counting centre in Ingliston in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014. (Reuters)
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If England votes to leave the European Union against the wishes of Scotland then pressure would swiftly rise for a second independence referendum, the former nationalist leader of Scotland said on Saturday.

Nicola Sturgeon, the current leader of the Scottish National Party and of Scotland's devolved government, has said she supports staying in the EU, and polls show that a majority of the 5 million Scots would also back that view.

However, the Scottish vote is dwarfed by that of England which has 53 million and represents about 84 percent of the population of the United Kingdom.

"I think the referendum across the UK is on a knife-edge, it will depend entirely on how it's argued. I don't rate the deal that Cameron has done in Brussels, I think it's about marginal issues," former SNP leader Alex Salmond told the BBC.

If "we were dragged out against our will by the votes of a much larger English (electorate), then the pressure for another independence referendum in Scotland would be irresistible and I think very rapid," he said.

Scots rejected independence by 55-45 percent in a vote in 2014 but since then the SNP has gained further strength, taking 56 of the 59 seats representing Scotland in the national parliament in London in last May's election.

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