Revealed: The speech Alex Salmond would have delivered if Scotland voted for independence

The speech Alex Salmond would have given if Scotland had voted "Yes" to independence last year has been made public.

The former first minister was ready to declare Scotland "a nation reborn" and hail the result as the "greatest day in Scotland's history".

Instead, Mr Salmond delivered a resignation speech on September 19, 2014, as 55% of voters backed staying in the union.

The speech was given to James Mitchell, a professor of public policy at Edinburgh University, for future research, and has been published in The Scottish Sun ahead of the first anniversary of the vote on Friday.

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon, the current first minister, said the SNP will set out the timescale for a possible second referendum on independence in its manifesto for next year's Holyrood election.

In his prepared speech, Mr Salmond would have vowed to "work constructively and positively to implement the will of the people" and extend a "hand of friendship" to "No" voters.

The former leader was ready to declare a "new and unbreakable relationship" with the British isles and say that Scotland would remain "a constructive and progressive member of the international community", and "a fully engaged participant in the European Union".

Many of these arguments were far from settled on the eve of the referendum, with alliances such as the European Union and Nato refusing to definitively say whether they would admit an independent Scotland ahead of the vote.

The Conservatives' subsequent general election majority in May has set the stage for an in/out referendum on the UK's membership of the EU, with a vote to leave against the majority will of the Scottish people seen as the most pressing trigger for another independence referendum.

Here's the full text of Alex Salmond's prepared victory speech:

In the early hours of this morning, Scotland voted Yes. We are a nation reborn.

Alex Salmond