Scottish Independence: Nigel Farage accuses Alex Salmond of ‘stirring up excessive nationalism’

The Ukip leader said the SNP was responsible for ‘anti-English hatred’ among young Scots

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The Independent Online

The Ukip leader Nigel Farage has accused Alex Salmond of stirring up “excessive nationalism” and “anti-English hatred” with just two weeks to go until the vote on Scottish independence.

Speaking in one of a number of US media interviews he has conducted this week, Mr Farage claimed that the SNP leader had encouraged a movement among young Scottish people that was “pretty unpleasant” and “very dangerous”.

He told MSNBC that he expected to receive a “rough time” when he visits Scotland upon his return from America, and recalled a “horrible” incident in May when he was confronted by demonstrators in Edinburgh.

“A sensible degree of nationalism is a good, healthy thing,” Mr Farage said. “But excessive nationalism is really very dangerous, and Salmond has stirred up amongst 16 to 24-year-old Scots a kind of anti-English hatred and it’s pretty unpleasant.”

Asked why a pro-independence party leader would be against independence in Scotland, Mr Farage explained that he felt the Scottish public was being given a “false proposition”.

He said: “I believe in national self-determination, so if Scotland wants to be independent that’s fine, but I think they’re being sold a pig in a poke.

“They’re being told they can be independent and be members of the European Union – if you’re a member of the EU, their courts are supreme over yours.”

Mr Farage said that the most immediate impact Scotland would feel from independence would be on its economy, adding that the “sums Salmond is peddling don’t add up”.

His comments came as Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said in an interview with The Independent that a successful Yes vote would trigger an economic “earthquake” with consequences for the whole of the UK.

On Tuesday sterling fell by around 0.6 per cent against the dollar, with analysts predicting a much steeper drop in the event of a Yes vote. The volatility was directly linked to the publication of a YouGov opinion poll which gave the campaign against independence a lead of just six points.

Mr Alexander said: “I think this is a taster of the economic damage that will be done, particularly to Scotland, if we voted for independence. These are the tremors, but we can avoid the earthquake by voting No.”