Alex Salmond has suggested the UK Government is “currently considering” whether to use a “pop-up organisation” to mount a legal challenge to indyref2, in a bid to make it seem like normal Scots were contesting the plans.
The Alba Party leader told BBC Good Morning Ulster he believes the Cabinet Office is investigating whether to “challenge directly” or to use “some shadow organisation” so it can “claim it was Scottish citizens who were challenging, not the UK Government”.
It comes after Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr whether Nicola Sturgeon would be taken to court if a second referendum on Scottish independence was held, to which he said the government was “not going near there”.
Mr Salmond added there is a “big problem for the UK Government saying to a majority for an independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament that you cannot go ahead with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people”.
The former first minister said the move was “talked about by David Cameron and George Osborne” in 2011 when “exactly the same number of independence-supporting MSPs were elected”.
He added this can be “done in terms of the way the legislation is carried forward, with a bill passed in the Scottish Parliament“, but would be a “democratic outrage”.
The Alba Party leader said there is “no possible excuse” for the UK Government “not regarding what happened last week as a mandate for an independence referendum”.
He told the BBC the time to press for a second independence referendum would be “now” and said he was “not in favour of this idea you should delay to after Covid-19, to after the recovery, towards the end of the second part of this parliamentary term”.
He said: “All you’re doing is giving the UK Government time to recover. Michael Gove on Sunday was starting the campaign for the union.”