The Cabinet minister in charge of the campaign to persuade Scotland to stay in the UK has dismissed the idea of Scottishness or Englishness.
The Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, said that First Minister Alex Salmond was trying to make people decide between the “false choice” of being Scottish or English in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence in September.
Mr Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, said Mr Salmond was “trying to present this as some sort of contest between Scottish values and English values and in fact the truth of the matter is there is no such thing as homogenous Scottish or homogenous English values”, The Daily Telegraph reported.
“There is a different range of values across different parts of Scotland and of course different parts of England,” he added.
“But optically it suits Alex Salmond to try to display this as some sort of false choice.”
Mr Carmichael also criticised Mr Salmond’s calls to debate David Cameron about Scottish independence, which have been rejected so far.
“It is interesting that tactically he [Mr Salmond] is desperate to keep debating the debate rather than having the debate itself – so I think that is a minor distraction,” he said.