United-Kingdom

Alex Salmond calls for SNP, Greens and Alba to unite for independence at next general election

Former first minister Alex Salmond has urged pro-independence parties to contest the next general election.

The Alba leader made the call after the High Court ruled on Thursday that the Scottish parliament could not organize another election for independence without approval from Westminster.

Nicola Sturgeon responded by saying that the next general election – scheduled for late 2024 or early 2025 – would instead be a “de facto” referendum.

Salmond suggested that pro-independence parties might stand under the banner of “Scotland United for Independence”.

In an interview with STV News, he said: “You will do ‘SNP, Scotland United for Independence’, ‘The Greens, Scotland United for Independence’, and ‘Alba, Scotland United for Independence'”.

“This is the technical way you can do it. A lot of discussion is needed, but you have to do something like this to make this a campaign issue.”

The former SNP leader also sharply criticized Lord Reid, the chief justice who delivered the ruling, arguing that he had crossed the line by questioning Scotland’s right to seek independence.

Salmond said: “Very few people would stand up as Lord Reid did and question Scotland’s national right to self-determination.

“From an international law perspective, Scotland is a recognized constitutional entity. There is precedent from 2014, we have the institutions of a nation, including Parliament.

“Most decent people, not only in Scotland but all over the world, would say that a nation has a right to self-determination, and it is unsustainable to try to pretend or say otherwise.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Salmond criticized the Scottish government’s stance on securing the indyref2 programme.

He said there was “no strategy” on independence, a position he described as “mind-boggling”.

He described the decision to refer a bill to the Supreme Court for clarification of its legitimacy as “assigning the Light Brigade.”

Salmond also called a constitutional convention to rally support for independence and urged more “popular agitation”, as well as exploring the possibilities of drafting a bill that would be within the remit of Holyrood Parliament.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

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