Union flags could be burned by rampaging Scottish nationalists, warns George Galloway

Salmond would be 'more radical than Sturgeon' says expert

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Scotland’s former First Minister, alongside his-then deputy Nicola Sturgeon, led the campaign for Scottish independence in the lead-up to the historic referendum in 2014. That effort ended in failure, with Scotland voting by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent against the country splitting from the rest of the UK. But last month, Mr Salmond made a dramatic return to frontline politics with the launch of his new political party, Alba – just weeks before the Scottish parliamentary election on May 6.

He is confident his new party can to help force a so-called “supermajority” in Holyrood for independence if elected, believing this could trigger discussions with Westminster.

Mr Salmond also believes peaceful protests and legal action could also be used in pursuit of independence.

But All For Unity leader George George Galloway, a fierce critic of the push for independence from the SNP and Ms Sturgeon, has warned the plan from Mr Salmond could lead to huge civil unrest.

He told Express.co.uk: “Alex Salmond is at least honest, and determined to take Scotland down the road to Catalonia at best, Yugoslavia at worst, Northern Ireland at a mid-point.

“The Alba Party are determined to launch an agitation of civil disobedience and mass demonstrations for a unilateral declaration of independence.

“He’s honest about that but the SNP are lying.

“But they are both heading down the road marked ‘trouble’ because mass demonstrations will be met by counter mass demonstrations, such as attempts to burn the British flags on British buildings, which will be the inevitable consequence of this agitation.

“It is very dangerous stuff.”

Ms Sturgeon has also hit back at comments from Mr Salmond that peaceful protests and legal action could also be used in pursuit of independence, warning those methods could put off potential supporters of Scotland splitting from the UK.

She told The Guardian: “If you’re somebody that voted no in 2014 and because of Brexit or other things, are now open-minded to independence – and I know an awful lot of these people – and you hear somebody say they think they can bulldoze their way to independence in spite of public opinion, I would think, ‘maybe I don’t want to engage in this any more’.”

Last week, Mr Salmond suggested the Scottish parliament could take legal action domestically and internationally if the UK Government does not grant another independence referendum.

He said if a super-majority could be created in Holyrood following next month’s election, it would pile the pressure onto Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold another national vote on the matter.

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When asked what options were available if Mr Johnson continues to turn down the referendum he and Ms Sturgeon are calling for, Mr Salmond replied: “The idea of a plebiscite is open.

“I proposed that back in 2011/12 and that was very much an option for us then if David Cameron had not agreed to a section 30.

“You can then point to domestic legal action, international legal action, international pressure, diplomatic pressure and we believe in popular and peaceful demonstration.

“We must cast this debate as a Tory prime minister against a Scottish Parliament and a Scottish nation. The whole community of the realm of Scotland – if I can use a phrase from history.”

Mr Salmond also said talks on Scottish independence should begin in “week one” of the next Holyrood term if there is a pro-independence “supermajority” in Holyrood.

The latest warnings on independence come with Ms Sturgeon warning Boris Johnson and his Government cannot stand in the way of Scotland leaving the UK f the SNP wins a majority at next month’s Holyrood election.

The Prime Minister has so far rejected all demands from the SNP to hold a second referendum on the issue, repeating the vote in 2014 was a “once in a generation event”.

She told The Guardian: “If people in Scotland vote for a party saying, ‘when the time is right, there should be an independence referendum’, you cannot stand in the way of that, and I don’t think that is what will happen.”

Ms Sturgeon believes talks with Downing Street had “moved away from ‘we can stop a referendum’ to ‘when would it happen, and on what basis would it happen?”‘

The First Minister said: “People will always challenge that because of what the supposed position of the UK government is,” before adding she is “pretty confident” the SNP’s backup of a referendum Bill at Scottish Parliament will not be needed.

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