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Salmond has far to leap

The Scottish route to independence is more complicated than the SNP would have you believe

By Robert Hazell   July 2008

Alex Salmond’s plan is to hold a referendum on Scottish independence soon after 2010, when the Conservatives have won the general election but with (probably) only five seats in Scotland. The Scottish backlash could propel the vote to independence. The media assume that if the Scots were to vote yes, Scotland would automatically become independent. But this would be only the beginning of the process. There are five stepping stones on the road to independence, any of which could become a roadblock. Salmond needs to negotiate each one successfully before Scotland can go it alone.

The first is that a…

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