SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: The United States would not try to stand in the way of Scotland leaving the UK after a Yes vote in the referendum, Alex Salmond has claimed on a trip to America.
The First Minister is visiting New York for Scotland Week and has said that the Obama administration could use the “reasonably orderly” debate in Britain about Scotland’s future as an example to other countries facing constitutional crises.
There has been speculation that US officials have security concerns about the impact of the UK’s Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons system being kicked out of Scotland after a Yes vote, which the SNP has pledged to do.
But Salmond said: “I don’t foresee pressure. I don’t think that is what the United States would want to do.
“There are certain principles involved here. One is the principle of self-determination. Secondly, the principle of a consented and peaceful process.”
Concerns are understood to be growing in the US after recent polls indicated a narrowing in the gap between a Yes and No vote, although the pro-Union camp remains in front.
But Salmond said US government officials had made public comments holding up the Scottish referendum process as an example of how to air separatist sentiment, as opposed to the abruptness of the recent Crimean referendum held in the shadow of Russian troops.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea has not been recognised by the United States.
“The referendum in Scotland is an agreed, consensual, democratic, consented process,” said Salmond, who is promoting Scottish business and culture during his trip.
“Who knows? It might become a template for how the world should conduct these matters.”
A US State Department official said last night: “The United States regards the Scottish independence referendum as an internal matter. We do not speculate on future actions or policies regarding the outcome.”