Salmond Issues Warning On EU Exit

3 February 2016, 18:05 | Updated: 3 February 2016, 18:08

A Westminster attempt to resist another independence referendum if the UK votes to leave the EU against Scotland's will would be like King Canute trying to hold back the tide, according to Alex Salmond.

The former first minister, who resigned following the referendum defeat in 2014, said during his weekly radio programme on LBC the pressure for a re-run "would be irresistible''.

He said: "If we got a situation where the majority of folk in Scotland wanted to stay in but the majority in England wanted to come out, because England is so much bigger that pulls Scotland out.

"The First Minister has said that would make another independence referendum very likely indeed. The pressure would be irresistible.

"Strangely enough, and this is the first time I've agreed with him in about 20 years, Tony Blair said something similar.''

Mr Salmond said "there will be consequences'' if the UK votes to leave the EU.

"You can't just leave the European Union just like that,'' he said. ``It took Greenland seven years and it wasn't as complicated back then.

"It takes years and years, and therefore in that period if the pressure for another referendum becomes irresistible it will be like King Canute trying to hold back the tide at Westminster, or perhaps trying to demonstrate that the tide can't be held back.''

He also mocked Donald Trump's "dismal'' defeat in the Iowa caucus of the Republican presidential nomination contest.

He said: "It's not something I talk about a huge amount, it's not really the Scottish way, but I'm a Scottish Presbyterian.

"I notice Donald Trump is calling himself a Presbyterian these days. I'm trying to understand how on earth he fits some of his views to my understanding of my faith group.''

When asked if he ever prayed to God for political guidance, he said: "The great thing about being a Presbyterian is the one-to-one relationship you have with your maker.

"One of the aspects of the one-to-one relationship is that it is between you and him or her.''