PERTH Scotland (Reuters) - Scotland may seek another independence vote if Britain’s rulers fail to honor their pledge to grant it further autonomy, outgoing Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond warned on Friday, less than two months after Scots spurned independence.
Salmond, in his final speech as party leader, told members that Scotland would eventually secure his dream of independence from London. He also delivered a warning to British Prime Minister David Cameron:
“Let the message be very clear from this hall and from this country ... Prime Minister - delay, prevaricate, block or obstruct the implementation of what Scotland was promised, and Scotland will take matters into our own, democratic, hands.”
In a last-ditch attempt to shore up support for the United Kingdom days before the Sept. 18 referendum that threatened to break it apart, Britain’s three main political parties promised to give more powers to Scotland.
“If the Westminster gang reneges on the pledges made in the campaign, they will discover that Hell hath no fury like this nation scorned,” Salmond told the party conference in Perth, 450 miles (725 km) north of London.
Since the vote, in which Scots voted 55-45 percent to preserve the 307-year-old union with England, London politicians have bickered over what amounts to a full-scale overhaul of the way the United Kingdom is ruled.
Party leaders insist they will grant the promised powers to Scots and the British government says they will be implemented after the national election next May.
But Salmond made clear that he had not given up on his dream of full independence, an issue that Cameron said had been settled for a generation or even a lifetime by the referendum.
“Scotland will become an independent nation,” said Salmond, 59. “The dream is alive and well and will succeed.”
Since the vote, the SNP’s support has surged. A poll by Ipsos-MORI last month said the party, which won just six seats in London’s House of Commons at the last election, had enough backing now to win 54 of the 59 Scottish seats in 2015.
That could turn it into Britain’s third party, able to decide which of the UK-wide parties could form a government to rule the country it tried to leave.
“In 2015, the Westminster election offers a real possibility of putting Scotland in the driving seat,” Salmond said.
Additional reporting by Michael Holden in London; Editing by Kevin Liffey