By a Newsnet reporter
First Minister Alex Salmond will use his speech in Carlisle this evening, marking  St George’s Day, to highlight the strong and enduring friendship that will continue between Scotland, England and the rest of the UK, following independence.
In his speech, the First Minister will tell his audience that the social and family ties that bind people on both sides of the border will endure after Scottish independence.

The First Minister is expected to say:
“The ties that bind the nations of these islands will continue and flourish after Scotland becomes independent. You will remain Scotland’s closest friends, as well as our closest neighbours. Following independence, the social union between the peoples of these islands will remain.
“People would still live in Annan and work in Carlisle, or live in Penrith and work in Lockerbie.  Friends and family would continue to visit each other. We would still watch many of the same television programmes. People from Scotland and England would still celebrate personal unions – by getting married in Carlisle Cathedral or perhaps by going to Gretna instead!
“On Monday, there were gun salutes in Stirling,  Edinburgh and London  to mark the Queen’s birthday. That would continue, since we would still share a monarchy with the rest of the United Kingdom – just as we did for a century before the Parliamentary Union of 1707, and just as 16 other Commonwealth countries do now.
“Carlisle would still have strong trade and transport links with Scotland. We would continue to share the same currency.
“And we would co-operate on the many issues where we share common interests.”
The First Minister will also say that an independent Scotland will be a powerful economic counterweight to London, helping to rebalance growth across the British Isles.
Mr Salmond will announce a series of special Borderlands Economic forums that will take place following a Yes vote in September’s referendum.
He will add: “An independent Scotland will be an economic counterweight to London and the south east of England – causing a much needed and fundamental rebalancing of these islands.
“We have more top universities per head of population than any other country on the planet; we have huge expertise in engineering and life sciences; an astounding cultural heritage; immense energy and natural resources; and a skilled and inventive people. But we’re part of a UK which has become profoundly imbalanced.
“An independent Scotland will work in collaboration with our friends and colleagues in the north of England to improve economic circumstances and job opportunities for all our citizens. This sentiment is reflected in attitudes on both sides of the border.  In July 2013 the Association of North East Councils and Cumbria commissioned academic research from the University of Northumbria. Their ‘Borderlands’ report recommended ‘collaborative working across the local authorities on both sides of the border’.
“In this very spirit I can therefore confirm that following a Yes vote in the referendum, the Scottish Government will host a series of special forums on economic co-operation with the north of England, and we will invite representatives from local authorities and business organisations in the north of England to participate.  It is a practical demonstration of  co-operation and partnership between us – a partnership which will be strengthened by an outward looking, prosperous, independent Scotland.”


2014-04-23 07:18

Slightly O/T

What are the official names of Canada & NZ? Are thye still officially The Dominions of Canada and NZ or just Canada & NZ?

I would hope that once we are Independent we won’t be known as The Dominion of Scotland.
Leader of the Pack
2014-04-23 08:06

I wonder how many of the No campaign will recognise their own contradiction by celebrating St Georges day as a “National” celebration while continuing to promote the idea that Scotland and England ceased to exist as nation states in 1707?

Does the Westminster Government realise the implications of flying the flag of St George next to the Union flag over Downing street today?

Or am I wrong? Is St Georges day no longer celebrated as a “National Saints day” in England?
Peter A Bell
2014-04-23 09:07

To those intending to vote No I say, if you value the best of the old union, then think of how it will be put in jeopardy by failure to take this opportunity to forge anew the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Think how much better together we will be if we create a new union. A reformed association which preserves all that is desirable and effective about what has been developed over the years but places this in the context of a political relationship fit for our times and the future. A relationship that is strong, not in the facile sense subscribed to by British nationalists, but in the sense of being robust and durable. A relationship that respects the differences between nations while cherishing the social and cultural ties among people. A true partnership of equals.

All of this is possible. It requires only the goodwill and commonality of interest that already exists. And the confidence to vote Yes.
2014-04-23 13:06

I wonder if Cameron’s imagination has his version of St. George slaying a dragon which represents an independent Scotland with the recognisable head and features of Alex Salmond?
2014-04-23 13:06

Odd thoughts; if Scotland votes No, Sepp Blatter will be able to remove Scotland from international competitions on the basis that “As you no longer wish to be a country, you do not qualify for a place with other countries. The team will be called Britain”.(The vast majority of players will be English)
Similarly, how could we participate in the Six Nations Rugby competition if we are no longer a nation?
Think about it.
2014-04-23 20:36

Scotland should be called the Common Weal of Scotland

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