Independent Scotland would be good for whole of UK – especially northern England, says Alex Salmond

First Minister also attacks Cameron and Osborne, saying the country had been 'love-bombed' by the PM and 'dive-bombed' by the Chancellor

An independent Scotland would be a “northern light” to balance the “dark star” of London by shifting the economic centre of gravity, Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, said in a speech.

Mr Salmond said the emergence of Scotland as a “strong economic power” would be good for the rest of the UK, particularly in the northern England.

He also attacked David Cameron and George Osborne, saying the country had been “love-bombed” by the Prime Minister and “dive-bombed” by the Chancellor in “what they apparently call their Dambusters strategy”.

“Don't let them tell you we can't build a better country,” Mr Salmond said in the lecture, hosted by the New Statesman magazine in London, on Tuesday night.

The First Minister said an economically strong Scotland would “benefit everyone - our closest neighbours in the north of England more than anyone”.

“There would be a 'Northern Light' to redress the influence of the 'dark star' - rebalancing the economic centre of gravity across these islands,” he said.

He insisted that if Scots vote to leave the UK in September then Scotland “will become independent in more promising circumstances than virtually any nation in history”.

“Nobody really doubts that an independent Scotland could be successful,” he said. “There's no doubt - none whatsoever - that Scotland could be an independent country.”

But Mr Salmond dismissed the idea that an independence would mean becoming a foreign country.

“Scotland will not be a foreign country after independence, any more than Ireland, Northern Ireland, England or Wales could ever be foreign countries to Scotland,” he said.

“We all share ties of family and friendship, trade and commerce, history, culture, which have never depended on the parliament here at Westminster, and will endure and flourish long after independence.”

Scotland was facing “a choice between two futures”, he said..

“With one choice, Scotland is part of an increasingly imbalanced UK - with high social inequalities, growing regional disparities, and more often than not governments we didn't vote for. With the other choice, we have the powers we need to create a better country, to build the Scotland we want to see - the Scotland we seek.”

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