Alex Salmond grilled by host over UK government negotiations
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In a motion published in the draft agenda of their September conference, members will be asked to agree that “Scottish independence is an overwhelming and immediate priority for the people of Scotland.” It noted there is a “growing concern about the failure of the Scottish Government” to implement successive electoral mandates from the Scottish people to progress a second vote.
In a direct attack on the Scottish Government, the party motion added: “Alba demands that the Scottish Parliament instruct the Government to commence independence negotiations with Westminster.
“If the British Government refuses to engage, or even accept a referendum process, then we propose a cross party campaign of parliamentary action, peaceful popular mobilisation, legal moves in the domestic and international courts and diplomatic initiatives to enforce the sovereign will of the Scottish people.”
But a UK Government source discredited Alba’s motion especially due to the fact they have “no elected representatives in Holyrood.”
The source also made clear: “The UK Government is focusing on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s not the majority of support for a second independence referendum.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of pro-union campaign group Scotland in Union, said: “The Alba Party is an irrelevance, but this shows just how desperate some in the nationalist movement are to stoke division.
“Imagine being so obsessed with how to pull people apart during a difficult period of economic recovery?
“The overwhelming majority of people in Scotland have zero interest in listening to Alex Salmond and his friends as they discuss how to cause chaos, and want their governments to focus on rebuilding our NHS and restarting our economy so that we have a UK-wide recovery which leaves no community behind.”
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Prospective Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex-Cole Hamilton MSP said: “This further evidence that the independence movement is starting to fracture.
“Alba is using the phrase ‘peaceful mobilisation’ in the same sentence thar they talk about ‘enforcing the sovereign will’ of the people.
“This has sinister undertones that I hope the mainstream independence movement will reject them out of hand.”
However, before the Holyrood election, in which the party got 1.7 percent of the list vote and no MSPs, Mr Salmond also said independence negotiations should start on “day one” of the newly-elected parliament.
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Alba will hold its two-day conference in Greenock on September 11 and 12, while the SNP’s event will be held the same weekend, but online.
Chris McEleny, Alba interim general secretary, said: “Our draft agenda sets out a radical and progressive programme to improve the lives of people in Scotland right now and pursue Scotland’s independence mandate with the urgency it requires.
“I am confident that our inaugural conference will set out that we have the People, the Policies, and the Plan for independence to take Scotland forward.”
The approach is slightly different to the SNP with Ms Sturgeon saying she wants to hold an independence referendum by the “end of 2023”.
A draft agenda for the SNP’s annual national conference shows party members will be asked to endorse proposals for a new independence push, arguing this is “essential” for a successful recovery from the Covid pandemic.
A separate motion states that legislation for a new referendum should be introduced at Holyrood “at the earliest moment” after a “clear end” to the current public health crisis.
Scottish ministers refused to comment on the Alba motion.
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