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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Franchise Operations Manager - Midlands or North West

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The position will be home based...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent publishing and...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue