George Galloway’s All For Unity party has called for individual Scottish regions to be able to choose to remain part of the UK if Scotland as a whole votes for independence.
The party’s manifesto argues a second Scottish referendum should only take place if a majority of Scots who are eligible – rather than just those who do vote – cast their ballot for pro-independence parties.
If a referendum does take place and a majority of Scots then vote to leave the UK, the party says individual regions of the country should be allowed to opt either to remain in the union or become part of an independent country.
At the party’s manifesto launch, Mr Galloway said he would not want to see either Scotland become independent or broken up by region, but he feels demand in some areas to remain part of the UK would be “unstoppable”.
Comparing it to the SNP’s calls for a “people’s vote” on the Brexit deal, Mr Galloway said: “It’s not my view, I wouldn’t wish it to happen, but it would be an extraordinary irony if the break-up of Britain gave birth to forces which then began to break up Scotland.
“The country would be eating itself.
“So by far the best thing is for us to make the best of devolved government in Scotland, and not the worst.
“I think the demand for it would become unstoppable.
“Starting in Orkney and Shetland, I don’t believe that they will allow themselves to be dragged into an independent Scottish state.
“I know that in Dumfries and Galloway, where the great majority – more than two-thirds – oppose separatism, that the demand to remain in Britain would probably become a cause celebre and probably become the settled will of the people.”
The pro-union All For Unity has said it wants to be part of a cross-party coalition with Scottish Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MSPs after the Holyrood election next month.
“I’m more Labour than Anas Sarwar, more pro-Union than Douglas Ross, I’m the one the separatists fear,” Mr Galloway said.
Asked about the possibility of taking votes and seats away from other unionist parties, Mr Galloway said that is “mathematical nonsense” and insisted he wants All For Unity to become a “super lock on the union of this country”.
He added: “The reason we’re here is because significant number of Scottish people believe that those charged with, and in some cases paid to, defend the union have not done it well enough.
“They may think that even if [All For Unity leader Jamie Blackett] and I were elected in the south of Scotland at the expense of two Tory MSPs, that that would be a good thing.
“That may well be the thinking of many other, the people whose job it was to defend the union have been asleep at the wheel, have not stood up strongly enough or cleverly enough to stop the neverendum, and I think they may judge we will do a better job.”
In its manifesto, All For Unity also says the Scottish Government should be renamed the “Scottish Executive”, and powers should be devolved to the regions of Scotland, rather than central government.
The manifesto states the SNP’s “14 years of corruption and failure have shown the constitution settlement to be flawed”, and calls for all Scottish funding to be “properly accounted for and audited each year by an external auditor”.
Mr Galloway said that if he is elected to Holyrood, his first words will be “I’m George Galloway and I’m here to open the books.”
He continued: “The books on the scandals, the financial scandals, the personnel scandals that have disfigured Scottish political life over the last few years, the scandals of the care homes, the scandals of the ferries, the scandals of the education failure, the scandals over the malicious prosecutions over the setting up of Alex Salmond, all of these books I intend to open.
“All I ask for is a room, a forensic accountant, a legal eagle and the books placed in front of me.
“I tell you something, if I start opening those books, I will bring a broom so stiff into that Holyrood council chamber, armed with what I find in those books, the SNP will be running for cover.”