Fresh from taking on Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage has called on Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to debate with him ahead of September’s referendum.
Fresh from taking on Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage has called on Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to debate with him ahead of September’s referendum, arguing that UKIP is the only party offering true independence for Scotland, namely from the European Union.
Having earlier this week criticised the SNP for failing to give the people of Scotland a referendum on their membership of the EU, Farage has used an interview with the Scotsman to call on the Salmond to hold a one-to-one debate with him.
Criticising the SNP for failing to provide Scotland with an option of “true independence”, Farage explained:
“I want to challenge Alex Salmond to a debate. It should happen during the European elections, but it absolutely must happen before the referendum so that Scottish voters can get all the facts.”
Last year Farage had to seek refuge in an Edinburgh pub after being mobbed by protestors chanting “UKIP scum, off our streets”. Despite this, however, Farage remains upbeat about his party’s prospects north of the border ahead of next month’s European elections. Arguing that “euroscepticism is strong in Scotland”, he told the Scotsman:
“I am confident that we will win a European seat in Scotland in this year’s election and I think that once the referendum is out of the way then we will win even more support.
“Our internal polling shows that euroscepticism is at 40 per cent in Scotland and it is increasing.”
Farage’s optimism might be overly optimistic even for him given today’s YouGov poll for the Sun, however, which shows that of those questioned in Scotland just 1 per cent would vote UKIP.
But for those who would consider a Farage-Salmond dual a delicious prospect, hopes will have been dashed by a spokesperson for the SNP who labelled UKIP “an irrelevance to Scotland”. They continued:
“UKIP support a No vote in September’s referendum, and one of the reasons why a Yes vote is essential is so that Scotland does not risk getting dragged out of the European Union against our will in a Westminster in/out referendum.”Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.