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ref date:11 Sep 1998 (SI)
SNP announce moves towards independence

Exactly one year after the historic vote in Scotland to re-establish its parliament that was closed down by London after the 1707 'treaty of union" the Scottish Nationalist Party have announced plans to move towards full independence from the 'UK' as soon as possible after elections next May.

The SNP paper said "We recognise that a majority of Scots see moving to independence as a natural progression. We are pledged to consultation - to allow the people to chose to move to independence."

"If we get a majority of the seats (65 or more out of 129) in the elections, then we will take that as a mandate for independence negotiations. We will start those negotiations as soon as practicable after the May election. At the conclusion of negotiations the proposed settlement would be put to the Scottish people in a referendum for their approval."

"If we don't get an overall majority, but do form the government, then we would hold an independence referendum within the first term. If the Scottish people so chose, we would then go into negotiations which would lead to independence."

Alex Salmond, the SNP party leader stated: "Any party will ask everyone to vote for them. I'm asking everyone in Scotland to vote for the SNP - that's my intention next May. I am not going to analyze the exact reasons for every vote, that's where our referendum pledge on the question of independence becomes important. "Everybody identifies the SNP as the party which is the voice of independence, even our political opponents allow us that. They say it's our only policy - I think that's going to be a difficult argument to sustain after the publication of our ideas. "