Ex-FM Predicts Indy Ref 2 By 2018

16 September 2016, 17:36 | Updated: 16 September 2016, 17:38

There will be another Scottish independence referendum in about two years' time, former SNP leader Alex Salmond has predicted.

Mr Salmond, who took Scotland to the brink of independence in 2014, said the UK Government is unlikely to seek separate arrangements for Scotland to remain in the single market after Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon, his successor as SNP leader and First Minister, has pledged to explore all options to keep Scotland in the EU but said another independence referendum remains ``highly likely'' if a middle way cannot be found.

Mr Salmond told RT UK's Going Underground programme: "I would expect Nicola Sturgeon to fulfil her mandate to keep Scotland within the single market place.

"I would expect her to give Theresa May the opportunity to embed Scotland within the negotiations to enable that to happen.

"I fully expect, my reading of the situation is, the UK will not be flexible or wise enough to do that, and therefore I expect there'll be a Scottish referendum in roughly two years' time.''

An SNP spokesman said: "We've still had no clues from the UK Government on what their meaningless mantra - 'Brexit means Brexit' - actually means in practice.

"Even the Tory frontbench at Westminster are at loggerheads with the Prime Minister over whether it includes keeping the UK within the single market.

"The reality is that an overwhelming 62% of those who voted in Scotland voted to remain - and that's why Nicola Sturgeon has indicated she will pursue all options to protect our place in Europe, including another referendum on independence if that is the best or only way to protect our interests.''