**Brexit would trigger second Scottish referendum within three years, Alex Salmond warns
David Cameron could face a second independence referendum in Scotland within the next three and a half years if Britons vote to leave the European Union, Alex Salmond has said.
The former First Minister of Scotland also said that Scots were more welcoming of immigrants because most people in the country knew family members who had emigrated overseas.**
Mr Salmond was speaking ahead of his participation in The Telegraph’s EU referendum debate with Conservative Brexit supporter Boris Johnson on Tuesday night.
**Scots would expect another independence referendum before 2020, if a Brexit is triggered by a majority vote in England but not in Scotland in the EU vote in 10 days’ time.
This is because after a Leave vote Britain would be expected to negotiate her exit from the EU within two years, as set out in the Lisbon treaty.
In a joint interview with The Daily Telegraph and Huffington Post, Mr Salmond that any second referendum “would have to happen logically in the time scale set in the Lisbon treaty … two years from the date of invocation of Article 50”
“The rational thing to do under these circumstances is to have the referendum in that period because in effect Scotland would not leave, Scotland would remain and the rest of the UK would leave.
“Under the context that would be quite legitimate because Scotland would have voted to remain and the UK would have voted to leave.”**
Asked if he expected the vote to be before 2020, he said: “Yes because Scotland would remain and the UK would leave – it would be a perfect democratic mandate for both of these things.”
Mr Salmond said that England voting for a Brexit against the wishes of Scots would trigger a “significant material change” clause in the SNP’s 2015 general election manifesto allowing Ms Sturgeon to call a referendum.
He said: “There will be a Scottish referendum if and when the Scottish parliament decides there should be one and there is nothing that David Cameron, Boris Johnson, any combination of the two can do about that – that is just what will happen.”
The SNP would have a better chance of winning, he said because “the forces which were arraigned against independence in 2014 have either switched sides or have been neutralised”.
Companies in England which wanted to stay in the EU would most likely back independence or move their headquarters to Edinburgh or Dublin, he said.