LONDON (Reuters) - Scotland will vote to become independent within two years due to the hardline position being taken by British Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit, former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said on Friday.
Scotland rejected independence in 2014 by 55 to 45 percent, but current Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has said Scots are now more likely to want independence after they voted emphatically last June to remain in the EU while the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave.
Sturgeon has submitted a series of proposals on Scotland's position to the UK government, including the option of Scotland maintaining its EU single market links from within the UK.
"If the UK government rejects Nicola Sturgeon's compromise plan ... then I think an independence referendum will be very likely," Salmond, who led the pro-independence devolved government during the 2014 referendum, told BBC Radio.
"And I think in that context, within that two year period, then I think the Yes side this time would win it."
May said earlier this week that Britain would quit the single market and impose immigration limits when it leaves the EU. Opinion polls show support for independence is unchanged since before the EU referendum, suggesting Scots would reject secession in another vote.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden)