Alex Salmond has said that Britain leaving the European Union could trigger a Scottish independence referendum within two years.
Speaking to the AFP, the former SNP First Minister of Scotland said: “I think the referendum will be a damn close-run thing.”
“Nicola Sturgeon said if we get dragged out of Europe against our will that would be the change in material circumstances that could lead to another referendum.
“So I think if that circumstance came about there will be an out referendum, it will occur within the two years period.”
The SNP won a third term of government in Scotland earlier this month on a manifesto that allows for an independence referendum to be called “if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people” or if there is a “significant and material change”" in circumstances.
Scotland leaving the European Union against the wishes of its voters could fulfil the second condition.
Salmond, who is now a Westminster MP, also called on Prime Minister David Cameron to make a less “negative” case for staying in the EU.
“The right campaign in order to engender the enthusiasm of Europe is to say: this is what we think Europe should be doing. This is the Europe we can build, the Europe we can seek,” he said.