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‘Third way’ for Scots’ independence

By Andrew Grice

Published 09/05/2011

Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond

The referendum on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom may offer Scots a “third way” option of greater financial freedom without leaving the Union.

First Minister Alex Salmond will consult other parties about the ballot, including “fiscal autonomy” while remaining part of the UK, as well as full independence and a no-change option.

Mr Salmond has promised a referendum on independence after the spectacular victory by his Scottish National Party (SNP) in last week's elections to the Edinburgh parliament.

“Just because we got a majority in the Scottish parliament doesn't mean we've got a monopoly of wisdom,” he told the BBC's Politics Show.

“I will listen to what people have to say.”

Mr Salmond dismissed calls by senior Tories for an immediate referendum, saying he would wait until “well into the second half” of the SNP's five-year term before doing so.

“That's the plan we outlined to the Scottish people very clearly in the election campaign,” he said.

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