Scottish independence: rUK will benefit - Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond, pictured in the Scottish Parliament chamber earlier this month. Picture: Jane Barlow
First Minister Alex Salmond, pictured in the Scottish Parliament chamber earlier this month. Picture: Jane Barlow
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FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has claimed that Scottish independence will bring benefits and opportunities for the north of England and Wales.

Mr Salmond said many councils in the north of England are “seeing an opportunity” to establish a closer relationship with Scotland, while there are many people in Wales “cheering Scotland on”.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Salmond referred to northern English councils’ proposals to collaborate far more closely with their Scottish neighbours, as part of the “Borderlands” initiative.

Mr Salmond said: “They see the power centre moving north as a potential benefit and counter-balance in the huge gravitational pull of London, which has such an influence, and in many ways damages the economy of the regions of England even more than it damages the economy of Scotland.

“It is not for me to intervene in English affairs, but if you want a commentary, if I were a politician in the north of England, I would be campaigning avidly for more economic and political powers for that area.”

He added: “There are many people in Wales for example cheering Scotland on, because the tendency over the last generation has been that as Scotland has had increased power Wales has followed that. Therefore it has been a good thing for other areas of the country.”

Asked about campaign plans in the lead up to the independence referendum, Mr Salmond said: “I have absolutely no doubt there’ll be a range of amazements over the next eight months or so.”

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