A top professor has compared the Scottish independence campaign to how former British colonies gained their independence from the United Kingdom.

Professor Geoff Palmer was speaking to Channel 4 last night when he said seeking independence or control of a country’s affairs was part of a state’s “natural progressions”.

The human rights activist and emeritus professor at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University said eventually, all nations will want to manage their own affairs.

He said: “I’m from Jamaica and Jamaica has had a long history with Britain, we joined in 1655 and Jamaica got her independence in 1962 and Jamaica still has a link with Britain.

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"So I see one of the natural progressions of all nations, of all nations of people, that eventually one day they will start to think about ‘well, we want to manage our own affairs’.

"It’s a union, yes, from about 1707, but Scotland goes back a lot longer than that. Therefore it is about not just from 1707, it’s beyond that and therefore it is about a group of people of which I am a part.

"Scotland is a diverse society, we regard ourselves as one Scotland and I think this is the debate and I think the public should decide.

"I think where we have a thing called public opinion, and when that in fact indicates that the public wants something, I think we should do it.”

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He was asked by Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy whether he saw Scottish independence as an "inevitability".

In response, he said he was sure the country would decide one way or another.

He said: “I think inevitability doesn’t come into politics. Politics is about what seems best at the time and I think just as Jamaica got independence after 300 years, I’m sure Scotland will decide one way or another when the time comes and when the public wants it and I think Scotland will do what the public wants.”