Salmond says Westminster the threat to future EU membership

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Alex Salmond said the threat to Scotland's continued membership of the EU did not come from the Scottish Parliament or government but from the "banks of the Thames" where the Conservatives were "heading towards the exit door", during first minister's questions on 24 January 2013.

David Cameron has said the British people must "have their say" on Europe as he pledged an in/out referendum if the Conservatives win the election.

Mr Salmond said: "It indicates the threat to Scotland's continued membership of the European Union doesn't come from this Parliament, this Government or the people of Scotland.

"It comes from the banks of the Thames and a Tory coalition Government who are heading towards the exit door and a Labour opposition still to clarify what on earth they think about it."

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said the Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, had said Scotland would have to apply for membership to the EU if it became independent and would face a worse deal.

Ms Lamont went on to say Alex Salmond and David Cameron were like "peas in a pod" as they always put their parties' interests before the interests of the people and suggested that was why "support for independence is at its lowest since devolution".

The first minister hit back saying "I'm not the one in the Better Together campaign hand in glove with the Tories."

He said the Unionist position that "energy rich, fishing rich, renewables rich" Scotland would not be welcomed into the EU with open arms was "incredible".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the first minister was old enough to have had his say on Europe decades ago, but anyone under 55-years-old in Scotland had ever had their say and asked if the first minister would deny people that opportunity.

Mr Salmond said the SNP wanted to stay in Europe and went on to say the Conservative party were being "led by the nose by Eurosceptics" as David Cameron tried to hold onto his job.

Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrats leader, asked the first minister if he would work with other parties to secure more powers for the Scottish Parliament if Scotland voted no in the independence referendum.

Mr Salmond said the recent social attitudes survey showed strong support for increased powers for Scotland and strong support for full powers and indeed for social security powers to be devolved which he believed was not mentioned in the Liberal Democrat home rule document.

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