Scottish independence: Economy not main issue, says Alex Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow
First Minister Alex Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow
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ALEX Salmond said yesterday the SNP’s fundamental argument for independence was not an economic one when he addressed some of the world’s leading thinkers in Edinburgh.

Speaking at the TEDGlobal2012 conference, the First Minister said that although there was a strong economic case for independence, splitting from the rest of the UK was about Scots governing themselves.

“I came into politics as an economist, therefore I tend to put primacy on the economic arguments,” Mr Salmond said.

“The argument for independence is not fundamentally an economic one. The argument for independence is Scotland as a nation, and nations are better when they govern themselves and nobody is going to take better decisions about Scotland than the people who live in Scotland. But the economic case is very strong and powerful.”

He said the idea that a nation such as Scotland – with such talented and innovative people - could not be self-governing was “condescending”.

The First Minister also spoke about his ambitions to make Scotland a world leader in green energy and announced that the government would be helping Malawi develop electricity by using renewable resources.

Mr Salmond added: “Polls have shown that people want more powers than we have at the moment, but are not yet convinced of the case for independence.”