ALEX Salmond will today reassure the people of England that the Scots will remain their “closest friends” and “closest neighbours” after independence.
On a visit to Carlisle for St George’s Day, the First Minister will also confirm that the Scottish Government will host forums to promote economic co-operation with the north of England.
Mr Salmond’s trip over the Border came after David Cameron made a St George’s Day plea for Scotland to remain united with England in the “world’s greatest family of nations”.
The Prime Minister said it was possible to be proud of the individual nations in the United Kingdom while remaining committed to the Union. Mr Cameron said the UK was a “global success story” and “no matter how great we are alone, we will always be greater together”.
“This St George’s Day, I want us to reflect on one of England’s greatest achievements: its role in the world’s greatest family of nations – the United Kingdom.
“In just five months, the people of Scotland will go to the polls and decide whether they want to remain a part of this global success story. So let’s prove that we can be proud of our individual nations and be committed to our union of nations.”
Meanwhile in Carlisle, Mr Salmond is expected to say: “The ties that bind the nations of these islands will continue and flourish after Scotland becomes independent. You will remain Scotland’s closest friends, as well as our closest neighbours. Following independence, the social union between the peoples of these islands will remain.
“People would still live in Annan and work in Carlisle, or live in Penrith and work in Lockerbie. Friends and family would continue to visit each other. We would still watch many of the same television programmes. People from Scotland and England would still celebrate personal unions – by getting married in Carlisle Cathedral or perhaps by going to Gretna instead.”