Former first minister Alex Salmond has “absolutely no doubt there will be a resounding vote in favour of independence” in a second referendum.
The Gordon MP’s comments came after Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to trigger another independence referendum, adding the vote could be held in autumn 2018 at the earliest.
Mr Salmond, who resigned after losing the 2014 vote, told the BBC: “By either the autumn of next year or spring 2019 we’ll know the outcome of the Brexit talks because it has to go to all of the parliaments across the EU in order to be ratified.
“We will also know what the Scottish Government has to say following the conversations they’ve been having in Europe in terms of what the alternative for Scotland is.
“When these two options are put before the Scottish people I’ve got absolutely no doubt there will be a resounding vote in favour of independence and keeping that 1,000-year long European connection that Scotland as a European nation has had.”
On Twitter Mr Salmond added: “Well done Scotland’s First Minister. It’s called political leadership - UK parties should take note...”
Reaction from opposition politicians was swift, with Labour and the Tories condemning the First Minister and announcing that they will vote against any referendum bill next week.
In his weekly column for the Press and Journal, Mr Salmond said: ““I think the days of Westminster telling other nations what they can and can’t do and whether they can and can’t decide to become independent.
“These days are long gone.
“They’re actually a proposal for Empire mark II down here. That’s the alternative to being a member of the European Union. But in reality, the days of empire are over.”