ALEX Salmond has taken issue with the language used by Hilary Clinton when she spoke out in defence of keeping Scotland within the United Kingdom.
Following the Mrs Clinton’s intervention in the independence debate, Mr Salmond said Scotland was “not a property to be lost.”
The First Minister picked up on the phraseology used by the former First Lady when she told the BBC that: “I would “hate to have you lose Scotland”.
Mrs Clinton, a former US Secretary of State, added: “I hope it doesn’t happen, but I don’t have a vote in Scotland.”
Reacting to her remarks, Mr Salmond said: “Hillary Clinton is of course entitled to her views and, as she rightly points out, the referendum is a matter for the people of Scotland.
“Mrs Clinton’s observations are quite interesting in that she infers Britain will ‘lose Scotland’ after a Yes vote. This reflects reports that David Cameron has said he doesn’t want to ‘lose’ Scotland, likening it to George III losing the United States.
“But, unlike that period in American history - when independence was only gained through conflict - we are deeply fortunate in that we have the opportunity to secure our nation’s independence in a profoundly democratic way, as President Obama and John Kerry, Mrs Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State, have acknowledged.”
Mr Salmond added: “In any case, Scotland is not a property to be lost but a nation about to take a precious and consensual and democratic decision. An independent Scotland will be a friend and ally to our neighbours in the rest of the UK as well as to our friends in the United States of America.
“The eyes of the world are on Scotland as we look forward to one of the most exciting days in our history - but that huge international focus, and all the economic and other opportunities it will bring, will only stay on Scotland with a Yes vote.”
Mrs Clinton’s intervention on the Scottish referendum debate comes just seven days after US president Barack Obama said he believed that the United Kingdom appears to have “worked pretty well”.
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said of Mrs Clinton’s comments: “As she says, the decision about Scotland’s future is one for the people of Scotland to make. After a Yes vote, the friendship between Scotland and the United States will flourish to the benefit of both nations.”
A Better Together spokesman said: “Hillary Clinton is a figure who is respected right across the world. Like president Obama, she understands that the UK is at its strongest when it works together.
“She has said ‘no thanks’ to Alex Salmond’s attempts to divide the people of Britain. We are grateful for her support.”