Scottish independence 'will benefit Wales' - Salmond

South Wales Argus: First Minister Alex Salmond said independence will also bring benefits to the north of England First Minister Alex Salmond said independence will also bring benefits to the north of England

SCOTTISH independence will bring potential benefits and opportunities for people living in Wales and the north of England, Scotland's First Minister has said.

Alex Salmond said many people in Wales "cheering Scotland on" , while there are many councils in the north of England "seeing an opportunity" to establish a closer relationship with Scotland.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Salmond referred to northern English councils' proposals to collaborate far more closely with their Scottish neighbours, as part of the "Borderlands" initiative.

Mr Salmond said: "They see the power centre moving north as a potential benefit and counter-balance in the huge gravitational pull of London, which has such an influence, and in many ways damages the economy of the regions of England even more than it damages the economy of Scotland.

"It is not for me to intervene in English affairs, but if you want a commentary, if I were a politician in the north of England, I would be campaigning avidly for more economic and political powers for that area."

He added: "There are many people in Wales for example cheering Scotland on, because the tendency over the last generation has been that as Scotland has had increased power Wales has followed that. Therefore it has been a good thing for other areas of the country."

Asked about campaign plans in the lead up to the independence referendum, Mr Salmond said: "I have absolutely no doubt there'll be a range of amazements over the next eight months or so."

A new poll has suggested that almost half of Scots would be "dismayed" if they woke up on September 19, the day after the referendum, and found that Scotland had voted for independence.

The YouGov poll for Sky News asked 840 Scots which statement came closest to their view when they imagined that a yes vote had been successful.

The survey found that 46% of people would be "dismayed", 25% would be "delighted", 17% "wouldn't mind" and 11% did not know.

The same question was posed to 1,695 people in England and Wales, with 46% stating they "wouldn't mind", 34% would be "dismayed", 11% would be "delighted", and 9% did not know.

Leader of the Better Together pro-union campaign Alistair Darling warned against relying on one poll.

He told Sky News that another recent poll had shown that the "majority of people did want Scotland to remain part of the UK".

"My view is that the whole country would be diminished if any one part of it left," he said.

"The argument is one that I suspect will mount more south of the Border, because at the moment this debate about the referendum and independence has largely been confined to Scotland."

He added: "The advantage...the opportunities that come from being part of something bigger, in terms of jobs because we've got a bigger economy, in terms of the clout we have in the European Union and other international organisations, as well the bonds between the four countries.

"I think you have to think long and hard about throwing that away."

Comments (5)

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4:40pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Walter Devereux says...

Scottish independence won't even benefit Scotland. This is just Salmond's crusade.
Scottish independence won't even benefit Scotland. This is just Salmond's crusade. Walter Devereux

8:30pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Mervyn James says...

IF they succeed, then certainly welsh campaigners will feel they can use that success to push for their version. What we see so far is threats from Westminster if they vote yes, which in part justifies their campaign to a degree, unlike wales, Scotland hates any reliance on fickle English Parliament with a vested interest in London,maybe we need to face up to that reality too.

When I read other topic posters at the Argus worrying London will cease the handouts, this suggests we need change, if only to dispel the myth welsh people are a nation of dependent beggars. This does down all welsh people, we need change, we need more self reliance. We may surprise ourselves and succeed, we won't do it carping at each other. This is a welsh trait we need rid of.
IF they succeed, then certainly welsh campaigners will feel they can use that success to push for their version. What we see so far is threats from Westminster if they vote yes, which in part justifies their campaign to a degree, unlike wales, Scotland hates any reliance on fickle English Parliament with a vested interest in London,maybe we need to face up to that reality too. When I read other topic posters at the Argus worrying London will cease the handouts, this suggests we need change, if only to dispel the myth welsh people are a nation of dependent beggars. This does down all welsh people, we need change, we need more self reliance. We may surprise ourselves and succeed, we won't do it carping at each other. This is a welsh trait we need rid of. Mervyn James

8:35pm Mon 27 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

Mervyn James wrote:
IF they succeed, then certainly welsh campaigners will feel they can use that success to push for their version. What we see so far is threats from Westminster if they vote yes, which in part justifies their campaign to a degree, unlike wales, Scotland hates any reliance on fickle English Parliament with a vested interest in London,maybe we need to face up to that reality too.

When I read other topic posters at the Argus worrying London will cease the handouts, this suggests we need change, if only to dispel the myth welsh people are a nation of dependent beggars. This does down all welsh people, we need change, we need more self reliance. We may surprise ourselves and succeed, we won't do it carping at each other. This is a welsh trait we need rid of.
merv the only person that will benefit will be salmon huge pay rise massive empire building and the people wil be worse off.

Devolution has been a HUGE mistake for wales
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: IF they succeed, then certainly welsh campaigners will feel they can use that success to push for their version. What we see so far is threats from Westminster if they vote yes, which in part justifies their campaign to a degree, unlike wales, Scotland hates any reliance on fickle English Parliament with a vested interest in London,maybe we need to face up to that reality too. When I read other topic posters at the Argus worrying London will cease the handouts, this suggests we need change, if only to dispel the myth welsh people are a nation of dependent beggars. This does down all welsh people, we need change, we need more self reliance. We may surprise ourselves and succeed, we won't do it carping at each other. This is a welsh trait we need rid of.[/p][/quote]merv the only person that will benefit will be salmon huge pay rise massive empire building and the people wil be worse off. Devolution has been a HUGE mistake for wales scraptheWAG

8:52pm Mon 27 Jan 14

arjwain says...

go for it Scotland .lets be fair cant be any worse .
when England dominates Scotland wales and Ireland were all in a mess .
if we separated off im sure we will do a lot better . our own rules and laws
better jobs for the welsh .a better NHS .police force schools .
oh and bring back hanging :) was that to far ,
go for it Scotland .lets be fair cant be any worse . when England dominates Scotland wales and Ireland were all in a mess . if we separated off im sure we will do a lot better . our own rules and laws better jobs for the welsh .a better NHS .police force schools . oh and bring back hanging :) was that to far , arjwain

10:06pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Llanmartinangel says...

arjwain wrote:
go for it Scotland .lets be fair cant be any worse .
when England dominates Scotland wales and Ireland were all in a mess .
if we separated off im sure we will do a lot better . our own rules and laws
better jobs for the welsh .a better NHS .police force schools .
oh and bring back hanging :) was that to far ,
You haven't read this article then. This economist has consulted for the Welsh assembly. Careful what you wish for.
http://www.walesonli
ne.co.uk/news/wales-
news/wales-not-tax-b
ase-follow-2028389
[quote][p][bold]arjwain[/bold] wrote: go for it Scotland .lets be fair cant be any worse . when England dominates Scotland wales and Ireland were all in a mess . if we separated off im sure we will do a lot better . our own rules and laws better jobs for the welsh .a better NHS .police force schools . oh and bring back hanging :) was that to far ,[/p][/quote]You haven't read this article then. This economist has consulted for the Welsh assembly. Careful what you wish for. http://www.walesonli ne.co.uk/news/wales- news/wales-not-tax-b ase-follow-2028389 Llanmartinangel

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