Alex Salmond: Scots will vote for independence within 4 years

Scottish independence has been "inevitable" since the creation of Holyrood two decades ago, Alex Salmond today said.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond launches his Fringe show at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Picture: PA
Former First Minister Alex Salmond launches his Fringe show at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

And the country will vote Yes within four years when a second referendum is staged following the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the former First Minister added.

He also said the SNP had handled the Michelle Thomson case "badly" and repeated calls for her to be readmitted to the party - but said the media bore the lion's share of responsibility for her downfall.

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"I think Scotland will become independent - I think that was rendered inevitable when the Scottish Parliament was established, because sooner or later the Parliament will become an independent Parliament," he said in Edinburgh today ahead of the launch of his Fringe show.

"I can't actually think of a case where a Parliament has lost powers. That doesn't happen - Parliaments accumulate powers. I thought independence was inevitable from when the Parliament was established in 1999."

The outcome of the current Brexit debate will determine the timing of the next referendum on independence, Mr Salmond added. Nicola Sturgeon was forced to "reset" her plans for a another referendum follwing Brexit after the SNP lost more than 20 seats at the recent general election when the issue dominated the campaign. But the Scottish Parliament has already voted for indyref2 and Ms Sturgeon still plans to stage a second referendum after Brexit is concluded.

"If Brexit is a soaraway success, the most amazing thing that's happened since sliced bread, I think that will postpone the independence referendum and therefore postpone independence," Mr Salmond said.

"But I don't know anybody that thinks that now - unless they think it's a Titanic success like Boris Johnson. So therefore I think the referendum will be in the next three to four years, depending on the transition period from Brexit and I think the result will be a Yes."

The ex-SNP leader was speaking ahead of his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Alex Salmond Unleashed which gets underway in the city's Assembly Rooms tomorrow.

The show takes the format of a question and answer session with different invited guests every day, although he has declined to reveal who these will be.