Parts of Scotland should be able to vote to remain in the United Kingdom after a pro-independence referendum in a follow-up vote, George Galloway has declared.
The plan for a second vote that would allow regions of Scotland to reverse a pro-independence majority are part of the former Labour MP’s manifesto for his pro-UK All for Unity party in the Holyrood elections.
Galloway said the proposal allowing for the effective partition of Scotland would mean “the country would be eating itself” after a vote for independence.
The former MP, who is heading the All for Unity, said places like Shetland, the south of Scotland, Aberdeen and Edinburgh would not want to become “part of a separate Scottish state dominated by the Central Belt”.
Galloway said: “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 in Dumfries and Galloway where the great majority, more than two thirds oppose separatism, the demand to remain in Britain would probably become the settled will of the people there.”
“It may be the Edinburgh the financial sector, Aberdeenshire with its with its fishing with its farming with its oil related activities, might very well begin to demand in a way that might become unstoppable.”
He added: “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.”
At the All for Unity manifesto launch the party also stated that a second independence referendum should only take place if over half of Scots vote for pro-independence parties.
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Galloway urged all pro-UK supporters to rally tactically behind candidates like Labour’s Anas Sarwar and Conservative Douglas Ross in constituency votes to defeat SNP MSPs.
On the list vote, where All for Unity is standing candidates in all eight Scottish regions, he claimed that he would strengthen the Unionist voice.
Galloway proclaimed “I am the one separatists fear” as he slammed Salmond’s plans to push for independence without a referendum as a recipe for Catalan-style crisis.
Galloway said: “This election is effectively, if we lose it, it is the first stage of the next part of the never-endum. If Alex Salmond has the whip hand it is explicitly, he’s not hiding it, the road to Catalonia.”
“It is mass street protests, it is immediate negotiation with the British government, it is, or will be a very quickly, civil disobedience. It is a recipe for trouble in Scotland, pushing and shoving trouble like Catalonia at best, and other kinds of conflict at worst.”
He added: “We have no alternative but to make this election about defending the Union.”
“We cannot put our head in the sand and pretend that if the nationalists get back in they will not further turn the screws on the existence of the Union. We believe in the union, why should we be apologetic about that?”
“I believe in the Union for the same reasons I believed in the Transport and General Workers Union, because unity is strength and because divided we fall.”