Alex Salmond: Tories are tearing apart Union

Salmond: time running out
Salmond: time running out
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The UK is being “destroyed” by the Tories’ hardline approach to Brexit and time is running out for Theresa May to avoid a second Scottish independence referendum, Alex Salmond has warned.

The former First Minister said May’s plan for a hard Brexit is undermining Scottish devolution by freezing out SNP demands to keep Scotland in the lucrative EU single market.

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Nicola Sturgeon warned last week that a second referendum is now “all but inevitable” as UK government ministers appeared to rule out the prospect of a special deal which could let Scotland stay in the single market while the rest of the country leaves.

“As things stand they are systematically destroying their own notion of the Union as a proper partnership, as well as ripping to shreds the promises made to the people of Scotland about the status and powers of the Scottish Parliament during and after the 2014 independence referendum,” Salmond said of the Tories’ approach.

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“It will be for the Scottish Parliament and people to respond to this new reality of hard Tory Brexit.”

Salmond added: “Time is running out for the Tory government to demonstrate that they’re in any way serious about Scotland being an equal partner in the UK.”

The EU referendum in June saw 62 per cent of Scots vote to Remain, but the weight of votes south of the border swung the result in favour of Leave.

Salmond, now the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said May’s approach will mean a “race to the bottom” in terms of tax, rights and regulations if the UK does not get its way in its negotiations with the EU.

A UK government spokeswoman pledged to “work closely” in EU negotiations and get the “best deal for Scotland and all parts of the UK as we leave the EU”.