Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Salmond and Cameron clash on SNP St George's Day appeal to English

David Cameron and Alex Salmond Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Alex Salmond will use a speech in Carlisle today - St George’s Day - to claim an independent Scotland would join the north of England as an “economic counterweight” to London and the south-east.

The First Minister will promise to work “in collaboration with our friends and colleagues in the north of England to improve economic circumstances and job opportunities for all our citizens”.

Mr Salmond’s speech south of the Border, deliberately timed to coincide with England's national day, brought an immediate response from the Prime Minister.

David Cameron issued his own St George's Day plea for the people of Scotland to remain united with England in "the world's greatest family of nations".

Mr Salmond is making his appeal as part of a strategy to win over people immediately across the Border to the idea of independence, saying currently the UK is "profoundly imbalanced".

Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

"An independent Scotland will be an economic counterweight to London and the south east of England – causing a much needed and fundamental rebalancing of these islands.

"An independent Scotland will work in collaboration with our friends and colleagues in the north of England to improve economic circumstances and job opportunities for all our citizens.

"This sentiment is reflected in attitudes on both sides of the border."

– Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister

But Mr Salmond's move is being met by an appeal to Scots to vote 'No' in the independence referendum in September from Mr Cameron.

David Cameron MP, Prime Minister Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

But Mr Salmond's move is being met by an appeal to Scots to vote 'No' in the independence referendum in September from Mr Cameron.

"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.

"Because no matter how great we are alone, we will always be greater together."

– David Cameron MP, Prime Minister

The exchanges mark the latest phase in the efforts of the two sides to win over Scottish voters ahead of the referendum.

The First Minister hopes that his appeal to the north of England will help neutralise fears over independence north and south of the Border.

But the Prime Minister believes that his appeal that the nations of the UK can be "greater together" will win the day.