ALEX Salmond was ready to declare a “new and unbreakable relationship” with the British isles if Scotland had voted Yes to independence in a prepared victory speech that he would never deliver.
The former first minister, who delivered a resignation speech rather than a victory speech on September 19 2014, would have declared that Scotland was “a nation reborn”.
To our friends and families across these isles waking to our new democracy, we say this; Know that, in Scotland, you will always have your closest friend, greatest ally and most steadfast partnerAlex Salmond
The text of Mr Salmond’s prepared speech has been given to James Mitchell, professor of public policy at Edinburgh University’s Academy of Government, for future research.
It has been published in The Scottish Sun ahead of the first anniversary of the vote on Friday, with the SNP still riding high from its reversal of fortune from referendum losers to landslide Scottish winners of the general election in May.
Mr Salmond would have pledged “to work constructively and positively to implement the will of the people” after a No vote and extend “an immediate hand of friendship” to No voters.
Instead, Prime Minister David Cameron rose to the victory podium and immediately pledged to deliver English votes for English laws in tandem with Scottish devolution, triggering Scottish Government complaints about the allegedly broken “vow” of a swift and extensive transfer of power to Holyrood and wrangling over the scope of the current Scotland Bill.
Current SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will now outline the circumstances for another independence referendum in her forthcoming 2016 Scottish election manifesto.
Mr Salmond would have declared that Scotland would remain “a constructive and progressive member of the international community”, and “a fully engaged participant in the European Union”.
However, many of these arguments were far from settled on the eve of the referendum, with alliances such as the European Union (EU) and Nato refusing to definitively say whether they would admit an independent Scotland ahead of the vote.
The Conservatives’ subsequent general election majority in May has set the stage for an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, with a vote to leave against the majority will of the Scottish people seen as the most pressing trigger for another independence referendum.
Mr Salmond’s prepared speech stated: “We are One nation. One Scotland. Let us shape the future together.
“This campaign reclaimed from politicians and parties the monopoly of power and decision-making.
“This must be the start of new politics - a time when the voices of the many will be heard.
“A time when the dispossessed and the forgotten assert their rights as citizens. A time of empowerment and participation.
“To our friends and families across these isles waking to our new democracy, we say this; Know that, in Scotland, you will always have your closest friend, greatest ally and most steadfast partner.
“Independence is about equality and mutual respect. Those principles will define our new and unbreakable relationship.
“I have just spoken with the Prime Minister.
“This morning, we renewed our joint commitment under the Edinburgh Agreement to work constructively and positively to implement the will of the people.”