CARLISLE, England, April 23 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond was expected to tell an audience in Carlisle on Wednesday that Scotland and England will remain “friends” should a majority of Scots back a “yes” vote in a referendum on Scottish independence scheduled for September 18.
Salmond will deliver the speech in northern England to mark St. George’s Day, commemorating England’s national saint. He is expected to tell an audience of business people that both countries will collaborate on economic matters, but will insist an independent Scotland will prove an important counter-balance to the City of London.
Scotland’s First Minister is to reaffirm that an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound as its official currency, a proposal rejected by the leaders of all three main UK political parties.
Salmond will argue that “an independent Scotland will be an economic counterweight to London and the southeast 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,” Salmond will add.
Meanwhile, in a statement given to RIA Novosti, UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged Scots to recognize the “global success story” that Britain has established.
“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,” he told RIA Novosti.