Nigel Farage hits out at Sturgeon and Salmond over independence row: ‘Goal is wide open!’

Nicola Sturgeon: Dale warns of drop in independence support

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Mr Farage has delivered a damning verdict on the future direction of Scotland if the SNP and newly-formed Alba Party guide the country towards independence. The former Brexit Party leader says the time has come for Unionists to “go on the attack” and insisted visions outlined by the First Minister of Scotland and her predecessor “is not independence”.

The SNP has vowed to hold a second independence referendum if the party wins a majority at the Scottish Parliament elections on May 6.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage said the vision of independence would not make Scotland a free sovereign nation as the SNP would hand powers back to Brussels.

The 56-year-old also dismissed comparisons of independence for Scotland to his life-long crusade to take the UK out of the European Union.

Mr Farage said: “The crucial distinction between the political struggle in which I was involved to unshackle Britain from the EU and the movements run by Salmond and Sturgeon is that neither of them actually wants to achieve Scottish self-determination.

“Both of them are EU fanatics and their primary objective is for Scotland to join that bloc.”

He added: “To be both an independent state and a member of the EU is incompatible on many levels.

“For this reason it is obvious that a Sturgeon or Salmond-led independent Scottish government would have to hand over to Brussels control of vast swathes of Scotland’s public and economic structures.

“Yet entering into a submissive relationship of this nature would mean that Scotland had no right to call itself a truly independent country at all.”

Mr Farage has also been critical of the Scottish Tories for not doing enough to stop support for independence and said the party was “solidly on the side of Remain” in the 2016 EU referendum.

He stressed the huge benefits of Brexit should now be used to stop the independence movement.

The leading Brexiteer points out Scotland has dodged the vaccine shambles in Europe by being outside of the bloc and part of the Union – a move he says has saved “thousands” of lives north of the border.

Mr Farage added: “The goal is wide open now. Nicola Sturgeon would have wanted Scotland to be part of the EU’s vaccine plan.

“Had that happened, thousands more Scottish lives would have been lost to covid.

“As the benefits of Brexit become clearer to every Briton, it is time for the Unionists to go on the attack.

“Whatever Sturgeon and Salmond are proposing for Scotland, it is not independence.“

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On Tuesday evening, Ms Sturgeon took part in a leaders’ debate ahead of the Holyrood elections.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she would want a second vote on Scottish independence to take place in the first half of the next five-year term.

The First Minister has also stressed once the coronavirus crisis is over Scots must have “the right to decide whether to become an independent country and take our future into our own hands”.

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