Salmond angles for referendum on Scottish independence next year

Crafty Alex Salmond has gone back to flirting with a multi option approach to a Scottish referendum next year. To try to stave off defeat in Holyrood where the combined opposition comprise a unionist majority, Salmond is prepared to include the Calman report’s recommendation for more powers for the Scottish Parliament, as well as the minority SNP government’s own bid for support to open negotiations for independence with Westminster. As the BBC’s Scotland political Editor Brian Taylor says: “

This is deliberately sufficiently flexible to make it an offer which is, strategically, difficult to refuse.Programme for government.

As a result of the National Conversation there is now agreement among all Scotland’s main political parties that the Scottish Parliament should have additional responsibilities. There is also now broad support in the Scottish Parliament in favour of a referendum to give the people a choice on Scottish independence. This is a once in a generation opportunity, and we will fulfil our manifesto commitment to introduce a Referendum Bill to allow a vote on independence to take place in autumn 2010. The Referendum Bill will provide the framework for the conduct and mechanics of the referendum itself.

More powers or independence? may be a deliberately confusing choice. Salmond seems to be calculating that if he can pressurise the unionist majority into holding a referendum at all, more voters than the polls suggest would plump for independence. But if a majority didn’t, he would still have the fallback of stronger powers for Holyrood and after a lot of huffing and bluffing would end up well satisfied with that.

  • steve

    How is being ruled from Brussels classed as being “Independent?”.

    Anyway on behalf of England and its tax-payers id like to wish them the very best of luck!, make it happen! and take the Welsh and N Irish EU Regions with you!.

  • Sam Thompson

    steve, why not go the whole hog and dispose of the north-east, east anglia, cumbria, and the other English regions which are in perpetual deficit? in fact, an independent greater London might be the best bet

  • I think this shows how a piecemeal approach to devolution can come unglued. It’s hard for the centre to argue against continually devolving a few more powers when in a straight fight with one devolved government. If instead the centre and the devolved regions were to negotiate a common charter of reserved and devolved powers which would apply across the board, it might have more chance of sticking in the medium term.

  • Máirtín Ó Catháin

    Tactically, the SNP would be far better letting the Scots have another dose of the Tories before calling their referendum. The recent push obviously arises out of the grumblings among the general membership.

  • Dewi

    How do the Unionist paries intend to pursue the Calman recommendations I wonder? Introduce without a referendum? Hmmm – I can’t see that they have much choice other than to go with the SNP proposal..I expect Goldie to break ranks.

  • joeCanuck

    If he wants to ask a devious question which leaves people scratching their heads as to whether or not they are voting for independence he should talk to the Quebecois seperatistes.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>he would still have the fallback of stronger powers for Holyrood and after a lot of huffing and bluffing would end up well satisfied with that.< >How is being ruled from Brussels classed as being “Independent?”.

    Anyway on behalf of England and its tax-payers id like to wish them the very best of luck!< >Tactically, the SNP would be far better letting the Scots have another dose of the Tories before calling their referendum.< >The recent push obviously arises out of the grumblings among the general membership.<

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Eh-2010…………..obviously. And someone has stolen my name cos I had to add an extra n to get my post submitted.

  • Thereyouarenow

    Oh that Alex Salmond is a canny Scot alright.

    He is the best politician around these parts by a country mile.

    Lucky for Cameron that he does not have to wrestle with a Scot of Salmonds ability.

  • English Republic

    “steve, why not go the whole hog and dispose of the north-east, east anglia, cumbria, and the other English regions which are in perpetual deficit? in fact, an independent greater London might be the best bet”

    Because England is a nation in it’s own right, not a collection or “regions”. Nobody has voted to partition our country and very few people wish for that to happen in spite of what the foreigner who runs our country would have you believe with his “nations and regions of britain” mantra.