‘Now Salmond warns Scotland could leave the UK WITHOUT a referendum after desperate bid to accuse Westminster of ‘tricking’ voters and saying ‘the writing is on the wall’ for the Union
Defeated SNP leader Alex Salmond this morning accused Westminster of ‘tricking’ Scottish voters into rejecting separation – and suggested the country could declare independence without a referendum.
He said the No campaign’s last minute promise of more powers for Holyrood had swayed voters – and accused David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband of reneging on their word.
But the outgoing First Minister, who dramatically announced he was stepping down from the job on Friday, claimed holding a referendum was ‘only one of a number of routes’ to independence.
He said despite last week’s referendum defeat the ‘writing is on the wall’ for the Union. Mr Salmond said: ‘I think the destination is pretty certain, we are only now debating the timescale and the method.’
Interviewed yesterday on Sky News, Mr Salmond said: ‘There are a whole range of ways Scotland can improve its position in pursuit of Scottish independence.’
He added: ‘I think referendums are great, they have been my policy and even I have been surprised by an 85 per cent poll and the degree of public engagement, but of course for many years there was a “gradualist” attitude to independence.
‘That is to say you establish a parliament, you establish successfully more powers until you have a situation where you’re independent in all but name and then presumably you declare yourself to be independent. Many countries have proceeded through that route.
‘There is a parliamentary route where people can make their voice heard as well – so a referendum is only one of a number of routes.
‘I think it’s the best route incidentally, that’s always been my opinion but my opinion is only one of many.’
Mr Salmond’s remarks came amid mounting nationalist fury over the perception that Westminster was wobbling over honouring its promise to devolve more powers to Scotland.
The three main Westminster party leaders made a ‘vow’ to Scottish voters that new powers over tax, welfare and spending would be transferred to Edinburgh.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said there would be a vote in the Commons on the proposals by March next year.
But the Prime Minister shocked Westminster on Friday morning – just hours after the result was announced – by revealing that any new devolution of powers to Scotland would have to go hand in hand with ‘English votes for English laws’.
Mr Cameron’s demand sparked an angry backlash from Labour MPs – with Ed Miliband accusing the Prime Minister of playing politics with Westminster’s pledge to transfer powers to Scotland.
The Prime Minister has insisted that the timetable for further devolution would be met.’