Scotland: EU would ‘insist on hard border’ says expert
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Speaking at the campaign launch of his unionist All For Unity party he warned Dumfries and Galloway, the Orkney Isles and the Shetland Isles may opt-out of any new independence state. He claimed calls for parts of Scotland to remain in the UK would be “unstoppable” even if the country as a whole voted to leave the union.
Mr Galloway added any successful independence referendum should be followed by regional votes to see if different areas of Scotland want to join the newly independent state or remain part of the UK.
He said: “It’s not my view, I wouldn’t wish it to happen, but it would be an extraordinary irony if the break-up of Britain gave birth to forces which then began to break up Scotland.
“The country would be eating itself.
“So by far, the best thing is for us to make the best of devolved government in Scotland, and not the worst.
“I think the demand for it would become unstoppable.
“Starting in Orkney and Shetland, I don’t believe that they will allow themselves to be dragged into an independent Scottish state.
“I know that in Dumfries and Galloway, where the great majority – more than two-thirds – oppose separatism, that the demand to remain in Britain would probably become a cause celebre and probably become the settled will of the people.”
Recent polling suggests Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is on track to gain a Scottish parliament majority in May’s elections.
The party is demanding another referendum on Scotland leaving the UK.
However, Boris Johnson has vowed to block any second vote arguing the question was settled by the 2014 poll.
He also argues holding a referendum now would undermine Scotland’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Galloway has urged his supporters to vote for the best-placed unionist in the constituency vote followed by All For Unity on the regional list.
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However, Scottish Conservatives have warned this could cost them seats and actually increase the number of nationalist MSPs.
During the launch, Mr Galloway described himself as “more Labour than Anas Sarwar, more pro-Union than Douglas Ross” adding “I’m the one the separatists fear”.
He added: “The reason we’re here is because significant number of Scottish people believe that those charged with, and in some cases paid to, defend the union have not done it well enough.
“They may think that even if [Jamie Blackett – All For Union leader] and I were elected in the south of Scotland at the expense of two Tory MSPs, that that would be a good thing.
“That may well be the thinking of many other, the people whose job it was to defend the union have been asleep at the wheel, have not stood up strongly enough or cleverly enough to stop the neverendum, and I think they may judge we will do a better job.”
All For Unity is campaigning for powers to be devolved to Scotland’s constituent regions from Holyrood.
They are also calling for the Scottish government’s accounts to be “properly accounted for and audited each year by an external auditor”.
Mr Galloway argued: “14 years of corruption and failure have shown the constitutional settlement to be flawed”.
Senior SNP figures have suggested there could be a second independence referendum even without the British Government’s consent.
However Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has urged unionists to boycott any “wildcat” poll.
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