Alba leader Alex Salmond: ‘Failing’ SNP-Green deal risks boosting support for unionism

ALEX Salmond has claimed that the deal struck between the SNP and Greens at Holyrood is risking pro-independence supporters turning to unionist parties.

The former first minister has said that the agreement between Nicola Sturgeon’s party and the Scottish Greens, only formalised on Tuesday, is “failing across many areas of policy” – warning independence supporters that the Scottish Government’s domestic record could push people towards unionism.

The former SNP leader made the remarks in a video to Alba party members and supporters in which he set out some of the key policy areas his party would be debating at its inaugural conference next weekend.

Alba is set to call for the removal of Trident from day one of independence, a policy area the SNP and Greens also agree on.

Mr Salmond’s party also backs a plan to tackle child and family poverty and will demand urgent action to progress Scotland’s independence, which the former first minister said is “not something for the hereafter but something for the here and now, and that’s the urgency Alba injects into the independence debate.”

Other policy areas the pro-independence party will discuss at its conference is the establishment of an independent Scottish Republic and an independent Scotland joining the European Free Trade Alliance instead of seeking immediate membership of the EU. The party argues this would provide Scotland access to the European marketplace without political membership of the European Union.

Mr Salmond said: “We will go into our inaugural conference with high hopes and brave hearts because the justification for Alba has never been more clear.

“The SNP-Green coalition is failing across many areas of policy – health, education, handling of the Covid pandemic, and that’s obviously going to have an impact on their electoral support.

“The last thing we want is people turning away and going back to the tired old unionist politics of Labour and Tory, and therefore an independence alternative (party) is absolutely essential. A party that will campaign for independence with the urgency it requires.”

Mr Salmond said Alba “recognises that independence is not an alternative or something to be postponed until after Covid but is essential to genuine recovery”.

He added: “It’s essential to social and economic equality. It’s essential to get rid of nuclear weapons. Independence is not something for the hereafter it’s something for the here and now.“

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992