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Cumbria will remain Scotland's closest friend, Alex Salmond to tell Carlisle meeting

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is due to make a landmark speech in Cumbria tonight ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence on September 18.

Alex Salmond  photo
Alex Salmond

The Scottish National Party leader has deliberately chosen St George’s Day to deliver the message that an independent Scotland would retain strong links with the rest of the UK.

He will 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.

“On Monday, there were gun salutes in Stirling, Edinburgh and London to mark the Queen’s birthday.

“That would continue, since we would still share a monarchy with the rest of the United Kingdom – just as we did for a century before the Parliamentary Union of 1707, and just as 16 other Commonwealth countries do now.

“Carlisle would still have strong trade and transport links with Scotland. We would continue to share the same currency.

“And we would co-operate on the many issues where we share common interests.”

The First Minister will also say that an independent Scotland will be a powerful economic counterweight to London, helping to rebalance growth across the British Isles.

Mr Salmond will also announce a series of Borderlands economic forums when he deliver his speech to an invited audience of business people at the Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral.

These would take place following a ‘yes’ vote in September’s referendum.

Chancellor George Osborne said in March that an independent Scotland would not remain in a currency union with the rest of the UK – a view rejected by the SNP.

Were Scotland to adopt a different currency, it would potentially create a headache for those who live on one side of the border and work on the other.

Have your say

No offense to anyone from the region but there has always been some hatred on both sides of the border for each other, in my experience a little more for the people from Dumfries and Galloway in Carlisle(though the further south in Cumbria you go the nicer the people)

I say this as I have a neutral accent but I used to get threatened for no reason for being Scottish in Carlisle, have known friends to be chased by gangs in city centre and had some very racist comments about Scotland and our people from people living there.

I do somewhat enjoy Carlisle though apart from the neds, not as much as before the recession though as it has become a mess of snooty students, neds, and everyone seems to hate each other! I miss the days of when botchergate had good shops and not just bars and when we had the Lonsdale Cinema, of gaming in the old computer cafe, of going to Finnegans Wake, of the old seating area at the lanes, and so on

Posted by A Smith on 13 May 2014 at 21:32

Is it not so if you're a British pensioner living in another EEC country you don't get the increase (whenever and if only futile as under a Labour Gov'nt) in state pension once you have decided to leave your mother country under emigration rules. What is the situation with those having paid NI contributions all their lives who might suddenly find a yes vote makes void any increase in their state pension... The Scottish people indeed living outside their homeland should be entitled for a vote (I'm aware of family connections that are annoyed at having no vote) with all that will, or could effect them.

Posted by Royl on 9 May 2014 at 19:14

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