UKIP’s Farage: ‘Scots won’t get independence from EU with Yes vote’
Farage, who described PM David Cameron as epitomizing “all that the Scottish people viscerally loathe about England,” said he “has walked straight into a long-planned ambush.”
In an article for the Telegraph, Farage described the Scottish National Party as “the voice of anti-Englishness” and claimed that the “Scottish electorate has been sold ‘a pig in a poke.’”
“The problem for the Scots, though, is if they vote yes next week, they will not get independence. Rather, they are voting for rule by Brussels,” Farage said. “As Mr Cameron has brutally discovered, no EU member is truly independent.”
Those supporting a Yes vote have previously argued against claims independence would merely make Scotland a puppet of Brussels.
“An independent Scotland will be an enthusiastic member of the EU, in line with our long-held international and outward-looking focus and values,” the SNP’s First Minister Alex Salmond said.
“We'll be able to argue directly for Scotland's interests and win a better deal for our farmers, fishermen and others.”
SNP ministers said an independent Scotland could negotiate EU membership within an 18-month timescale between the referendum and official independence.
Salmond has also hit out at Cameron, who has promised an in-out referendum on Europe if re-elected next year.
“At a time when Scotland’s European future is being placed in jeopardy by a Westminster elite obsessed by UKIP, it is becoming ever clearer that Scotland’s European policy is best decided by people in Scotland,” Salmond told supporters.
Meanwhile, Farage further said that Cameron was wrong to exclude the “devolution max” option from the referendum ballot paper, which would have offered more powers for a Scottish parliament without dismantling the union.
“The Scots have no way of keeping a UK link while extending the powers of the Scottish parliament,” said Farage. “I believe this option would have won the day but thanks to Mr Cameron, it is not on offer."
Farage said the choice on the ballot “plays into Salmond’s hands,” as voters could “stay subject to the English toffs at Westminster who stole their country under the threat of bankruptcy 300 years ago – the Act of Union – or vote to throw off the hated English yoke.”
The UKIP leader, who will hold a pro-union rally in Glasgow on Friday evening, also criticized the Yes camp, who boycotted his previous visit.
“The hoodlums who sought to break up my meetings and confined me to a pub told me to go back to England; to them, an Englishman should have no voice in Scottish political debate. Their position is merely the extreme end of Mr Salmond’s.”
He, however, sympathized with the public mood in Scotland, blaming an out-of-touch Westminster elite for depriving them a voice.
“The Scots’ rejection of the way in which Westminster operates is not unique to them. The English and Welsh feel it, too. Millions of voters are rejecting the entire British political class. Next May, at the general election, these people have a wonderful opportunity to express their discontent.”
A new opinion poll has found the no vote has retaken the lead at 53 percent, suggesting the independence campaign’s recent momentum has subsided.
Polls released this week suggested the referendum race was neck and neck. The Survation poll for the Daily Record published on Wednesday night, however, found the No camp has gained a six point lead.