'Nigel Farage has called on “genuine Scottish nationalists” to vote for his Brexit party in next week’s EU elections, as he described Nicola Sturgeon’s campaign for an independent Scotland within Europe as “the most dishonest political discourse anywhere in the world”.
As anti-racist protesters chanted outside the venue, Farage told cheering supporters at a rally in Edinburgh: “If you’re genuinely a nationalist lend your vote to the Brexit party, let’s get out of the EU and then have an honest debate about independence.”
Speaking to the media before going onstage at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange with the Brexit party’s EU election candidates for Scotland, Farage said: “The impression that’s often given by Nicola Sturgeon is that almost everybody in Scotland thinks the European Union is a fantastic idea, when the reality is that 30% of her own voters, because they are actually genuinely nationalists, voted to leave the EU.”
Despite his leading Scottish candidate, Louis Stedman-Bryce, stating in an interview this week that the party would not oppose a second Scottish independence referendum, Farage insisted that both independence and EU votes were once-in-a-generation decisions.
A buoyant Farage, perhaps relieved that he was not facing the level of public anger that led to him being hounded out of central Edinburgh in 2013, insisted that Scotland was more receptive to his message than it had been in previous years.
“I do think there’s not been a proper debate on the EU in Scotland because there’s not been a genuine opposing voice here making the Eurosceptic argument, and what I’m hoping is that if we can make a significant breakthrough in these elections we can start to do that.”'
Read more: Scotland won't be independent within EU, says Farage
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