Latest Alex Salmond News

  • Scotland Split Would Risk Jobs, Warns Hammond
    Scotland Split Would Risk Jobs, Warns Hammond Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has warned thousands of jobs will be threatened if Scotland decides to break away from the UK. He told staff at a Glasgow-based defence firm the future of the business and their livelihoods would be put at risk by a 'yes' vote in this September's referendum on independence. Mr Hammond said the defence industry in Scotland employs around 12,600 people and generates sales of more than £1.8bn. He told workers at Thales, a firm which has supplied every periscope used by the Royal Navy: "The creation of a border between this facility and its largest customer will put at jeopardy the future prosperity of this business, the people who work in it and their families and dependents. More »

  • Navy chief warns Scottish independence could weaken Britain Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish independence would weaken Britain's maritime defences by splitting up bases, infrastructure and staff, the country's navy chief said, the first serving military boss to give a view on the consequences if Scots vote to break away in September. Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday, Admiral George Zambellas said the nations that remained in the United Kingdom if Scotland left the three-centuries-old union would cope eventually but Scotland would feel a "deeper impact". ... More »

  • 'Threads out of the rope': Navy diminished by Scottish independence
    'Threads out of the rope': Navy diminished by Scottish independence Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The British navy would be diminished by a vote for Scottish independence, the first sea lord has said in a rare political intervention. More »

  • Scottish Independence Will Weaken Royal Navy and Hurt UK Defence, says First …
    Scottish Independence Will Weaken Royal Navy and Hurt UK Defence, says First … Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The First Sea Lord has issued a damning indictment of Scotland's potential break from the UK, claiming that independence will weaken the Royal Navy and damage Britain's defence capabilities. Admiral Sir George Zambellas said Scottish independence would damage "the very heart" of Britain's maritime forces and hurt Scotland even more than the reconstituted UK. "I believe that independence would fundamentally change maritime security for all of us in the United Kingdom and damage the very heart of the capabilities that are made up of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Fleet Air Arm," Zambellas wrote in The Telegraph. More »

  • Royal Navy chief warns of threat posed by Scottish independence
    Royal Navy chief warns of threat posed by Scottish independence Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The Royal Navy chief on Tuesday warned that an independent Scotland would "damage the very heart" of the military service. More »

  • Hammond backs 'precious' union
    Hammond backs 'precious' union Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The UK's shared defence forces provide the "security and peace of mind" which underpin almost every area of the debate on Scottish independence, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said. More »

  • Military chiefs warn Scotland over evicting nuclear weapons
    Military chiefs warn Scotland over evicting nuclear weapons Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    By Belinda Goldsmith GLASGOW (Reuters) - The Scottish government's plan to evict Britain's nuclear submarine base if it wins a vote for independence would cost billions of pounds, cut thousands of jobs and create resentment internationally, former defence chiefs said on Monday. The Scottish National Party, which runs Scotland's devolved parliament, has vowed to remove and ban all nuclear weapons in the first parliament of independence, that would start in 2016 if Scotland votes Yes at a September 18 referendum. But the former top brass said the proposed timescale would create "huge practical problems" over the cost and jobs lost and such a stance would be "unacceptable" to NATO allies. The concerns raised by four former chiefs of defence staff, six former first sea lords, a former chief of the general staff, and a former chief of the air staff, come after a narrowing in opinion polls this year, which have made independence seem a possibility even though nationalists still lag in support. More »

  • Scottish Independence Could Spur Catalonia and European Nationalist Groups to …
    Scottish Independence Could Spur Catalonia and European Nationalist Groups to … Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Nomura's influential senior political analyst has revealed in his latest report that the "mere presence" of a Scottish referendum is encouraging European nationalist groups to push harder for independence. According to Alastair Newton's latest analysis, the recent shift in opinion polls, in favour of independence, may act as a 'wake-up' call for the unionists and, especially if, the recent developments at the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) conference adds further to pro-independence momentum. "Whatever the outcome of Scotland's referendum, the mere fact of it taking place is likely, in my view, to continue to weigh on the thinking of separatists in Catalonia," said Newton. "However, I think a vote in Scotland in favour of independence would encourage Catalonia to press its case still harder. More »

  • SNP warned over bid to ban Trident
    SNP warned over bid to ban Trident Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    The SNP's plan to scrap Trident would cast a "dark shadow" over the international reception given to a newly independent Scottish nation, according to a dozen high-ranking defence veterans. More »

  • Scotland's leader woos Labour, women ahead of independence vote
    Scotland's leader woos Labour, women ahead of independence vote Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond set aside party politics in a major speech on Saturday as he appealed to Labour voters and women to back independence in the nation's upcoming referendum. More »

  • Scotland 'Should Determine Its Own Future'
    Scotland 'Should Determine Its Own Future' Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Alex Salmond has used his final party conference speech before the country's independence referendum to urge voters north of the border to "put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands". As the nationalist party, committed to fulfilling an 80-year pledge to gain Scotland its independence from the United Kingdom, continues to reduce the gap in the polls ahead of September's referendum, he insisted the vote is not about him. "It's about putting Scotland's future in Scotland's hands. "Our party is hugely popular, and we are currently five, 10 and 15 points ahead in polls for Westminster, Europe and Holyrood respectively. More »

  • Referendum is about Scotland, not SNP, says first minister
    Referendum is about Scotland, not SNP, says first minister Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will seek to set aside party politics on Saturday as he appeals to Labour voters to back independence in the nation's forthcoming referendum, insisting the priority is the future of Scotland. More »

  • Scottish leader urges voters to put aside politics for independence
    Scottish leader urges voters to put aside politics for independence Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    By Belinda Goldsmith ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) - First Minister Alex Salmond on Saturday urged Scots to look beyond party politics and break the 307-year union with England when they vote in an independence referendum in September. Closing the Scottish National Party's (SNP) last conference before the ballot on September 18, Salmond said a vote for independence was not a vote for his party or for him, but a way to put Scotland's future in its own hands. ... More »

  • Salmond: It is time to say Yes
    Salmond: It is time to say Yes Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Scotland's First Minister addressed the final party conference before the country's independence referendum and declared it was "time to say Yes". More »

  • Scotch whisky concerned about independence 'risks'
    Scotch whisky concerned about independence 'risks' Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Scotch whisky makers expressed their concerns about the impact of Scottish independence for the first time on Friday, saying they needed an effective diplomatic network to promote sales. More »

  • Scotland's Dirty Little Secret: Will Independence Fire Anti-Catholic Bi …
    Scotland's Dirty Little Secret: Will Independence Fire Anti-Catholic Bi … Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    As the Scottish Nationalist Party opens what could be its last conference before the dream of an independent Scotland is finally realised, its leader Alex Salmond will demand one final big push to orchestrate the historic division of the United Kingdom. But the SNP's battle cry to rally the 'Yes' vote in the referendum conceals a profound split in Scottish society itself: the toxic divide between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Indeed, the outspoken MP George Galloway has issued a bleak warning to those Catholics in Scotland who might be toying with the idea of divorcing from the "Auld Enemy" - England - on 18 September: Be careful what you wish for. So anxious is Galloway about the future for Catholics in an independent Scotland that instead of forming an unholy alliance with the Better Together camp he is imploring Scots to Just Say Naw and stick with the 1707 Union. More »

  • Scottish nationalists mark 160-day countdown to independence vote
    Scottish nationalists mark 160-day countdown to independence vote Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    By Belinda Goldsmith ABERDEEN (Reuters) - Despite a drumbeat of warnings from businessmen, financiers and British government officials that an independent Scotland would be doomed to failure, Scottish nationalists go into their spring conference this weekend with banners flying and polls showing support for their dream is gathering pace. Under the conference slogan "Forward," the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) will hammer home its message that oil-rich Scotland can be a prosperous nation that decides its own future if it votes on September 18 to end the 307-year tie with England. A year ago, the chance that Scotland's 5.3 million people would vote to leave the United Kingdom looked slim, with support for a break stagnant at just 30 percent. The "No" to independence side has warned against complacency. More »

  • Independent Scotland will face dearer energy: UK govt
    Independent Scotland will face dearer energy: UK govt Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Scotland's households and businesses would face higher energy bills if Scots vote in favour of independence from the rest of Britain, the British government warned Wednesday. More »

  • Britain warns Scots that independence would hurt energy industry
    Britain warns Scots that independence would hurt energy industry Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    Britain on Tuesday warned Scots that voting for independence would put jobs and investment in the Scottish energy industry at risk, threatening the commercial viability of North Sea oil and gas fields and renewable energy projects. The latest paper, due to be released on Wednesday, will say that independence would deter investment in low-carbon renewable energy and make it unprofitable for firms to extract increasingly hard-to-reach oil and gas in the seas off Scotland. "I fear the economic and energy progress will be seriously affected by the uncertainty and disruption of independence, as investors will hold onto their cash rather than risk it," Energy Secretary Ed Davey said ahead of the report's release. More »

  • Former NATO chief warns Scottish independence would be 'cataclysmic' …
    Former NATO chief warns Scottish independence would be 'cataclysmic' … Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    A former secretary general of NATO has warned that Scottish independence would be "cataclysmic" because breaking up Britain would rob the West of a major anchor of stability and solidarity at a difficult time. George Robertson, a former British defence minister and NATO head from 1999 to 2003, said a vote for independence at a September 18 referendum would erode Britain's role in the West and undermine the global balance of power. Robertson, a Scot, said Scotland ending its 307-year tie with England would have consequences across Europe, triggering a possible fragmentation as breakaway movements in Catalonia and the Basque country in Spain and in Belgium followed suit. More »

  • Clash over future of energy sector
    Clash over future of energy sector Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    The UK Energy Secretary has clashed with Scotland's First Minister about the impact independence could have on the crucial energy sector. More »

  • U.S. will not stand in way of Scottish independence - Salmond
    U.S. will not stand in way of Scottish independence - Salmond Sat, Apr 5, 2014

    By Alistair Bell NEW YORK (Reuters) - The leader of Scotland's separatist movement predicted on Friday that the United States would not try to stand in the way of the breakup of Britain, Washington's staunchest ally for decades, if Scots vote for independence at a referendum this year. Instead, the Obama administration could use the reasonably orderly debate in Britain about Scotland's future as an example to other countries facing constitutional crises, said Alex Salmond, the separatist leader who heads the Scottish National Party and who is Scotland's first minister. More »

  • Scottish currency could cost local firms 1 billion pounds - study
    Scottish currency could cost local firms 1 billion pounds - study Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    By Stephen Eisenhammer LONDON (Reuters) - Independence could burden Scottish companies with more than 1 billion pounds of extra costs, a report commissioned by local engineering firm Weir Group said on Thursday, adding fuel to the business case against a split. The 80-page report researched by forecasting and analysis group Oxford Economics found a new Scottish currency could cost local businesses and households 500 million pounds a year in transaction costs with a further one-off cost of 800 million pounds for the transition. Scotland will vote on September 18 on whether it should remain part of the UK and business leaders have raised concerns over currency, tax, regulation and membership of the European Union if the country gains independence. The potential loss of the pound is one of the biggest fears for businesses in Scotland. More »

  • Crimean annexation does Europe's separatists no favours Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    By Fiona Ortiz and Paul Taylor MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) - Russia's annexation of Crimea after a snap referendum staged under military occupation has whetted some appetites in the Balkans, but has done no favours to the Scots, Catalans, Flemish and others seeking independence in Europe. By contrast, Western Europe's nationalists have distanced themselves from Crimea, concerned that the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War may give separatism a bad name. "Catalonia is not Crimea," the government of the northeastern Spanish region declared last week after the central authorities in Madrid tried to link the two. Catalan President Artur Mas wants to hold a referendum on November 9 on independence from Spain, but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has opposed any such vote as illegal. More »

  • Girl Killed By Falling Wall At School Is Named
    Girl Killed By Falling Wall At School Is Named Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    Tributes have been left for a 12-year-old girl, named locally as Keane Wallis-Bennett, who died when an internal wall collapsed on her at school. Emergency services were called to Liberton High School in Edinburgh shortly before 10am. Health and safety breaches at the school are now under investigation amid reports that students had raised safety concerns about the wall that collapsed in the PE block. A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: "Police investigations are ongoing, however we understand that the wall that collapsed was a free standing modesty wall in a changing room. More »

  • Girl dies in school wall collapse
    Girl dies in school wall collapse Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    Urgent building reviews are to be carried out after a 12-year-old pupil died at school when a wall within a PE changing room collapsed. More »

  • April McFool! British papers poke fun at Scottish vote
    April McFool! British papers poke fun at Scottish vote Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    An independent Scotland would drive on the right, replace the queen's head on coins and bring in UN peacekeepers with purple berets -- if Britain's newspapers were to believed on April Fool's Day. More »

  • April Fools: The Queen, Scottish Independence and One Direction Included in …
    April Fools: The Queen, Scottish Independence and One Direction Included in … Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    Fracking at Buckingham Palace, Alex Salmond adorning pound coins and One Direction banned from North Korea, it can only mean one thing: April Fools day. Some - including the The Sun's 'exclusive' that fracking was to commence at the lawns of Buckingham Palace - were more obvious to spot than others. Scottish independence was a familiar theme throughout publications' attempts to fool the public. The Independent took on a more sabre-rattling approach, claiming UN peacekeepers would be on hand if the Scots voted for independence. More »

  • Anti-Scottish Independence Campaign Getting Jitters over Currency Whisper
    Anti-Scottish Independence Campaign Getting Jitters over Currency Whisper Mon, Mar 31, 2014

    Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond will be delighted that an un-named minister has been whispering that all the talk about Westminster never allowing the Scots to keep the pound is nonsense. So when an anonymous government minister allegedly told the Guardian newspaper: "of course there would be a currency union", they went into a full-on flap. And perfectly sensible comments from Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael that it was "not impossible" that Scots could vote for separation added to the nervousness. The UK wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane and the Scottish government wants a currency union – you can see the outlines of a deal". More »

  • Scotland Currency Claims 'Bluff And Bluster'
    Scotland Currency Claims 'Bluff And Bluster' Mon, Mar 31, 2014

    Scotland's First Minister has told Sky News the Yes campaign for Scottish independence is gaining ground in the wake of revelations over a possible currency union. Alex Salmond MSP said the No campaign was struggling because of its negativity ahead of the vote in September and reiterated the removal of Trident submarines from an independent Scotland was not up for negotiation. "The reason we are gaining ground is that we are putting forward a positive message about what Scotland can do and can be as an independent country. On Saturday, the Government denied claims in The Guardian that a deal on sharing the pound  with an independent Scotland would be made in return for allowing Trident to remain at Faslane. More »

  • Osborne denies report that independent Scotland would keep pound
    Osborne denies report that independent Scotland would keep pound Mon, Mar 31, 2014

    Chancellor George Osborne on Saturday denied a newspaper report that Scotland may keep the pound even if it votes for independence later this year, an issue at the heart of the Scottish secession debate. Polls show the question of what currency an independent Scotland would use has been high in Scottish voters' minds ahead of an independence referendum on September 18, with many worrying about the economic uncertainties a new currency would bring if they voted to end the 300-year-old union with England. "Walking out of the UK means walking out of the UK pound," he said on Saturday in a joint statement with Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander. Scottish nationalists want to share the pound in a currency union with the UK and retain the services of the Bank of England. More »

  • Minister warns Scotland could vote for independence, despite polls
    Minister warns Scotland could vote for independence, despite polls Mon, Mar 31, 2014

    By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - The government minister responsible for Scotland warned on Sunday nationalists could win an independence referendum this year because of complacency among those campaigning to hold the United Kingdom together. Speaking ahead of a September 18 vote that will decide whether Scotland breaks its three-century-old union with England, Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, said nationalists had a huge "war chest" to fund their campaign and appeared more "hungry" for victory. "Well I've got to tell everybody it could." Opinion polls have long shown Scots would vote to reject independence by a clear margin. More »

  • British minister warns Scotland could vote for independence, despite polls
    British minister warns Scotland could vote for independence, despite polls Sun, Mar 30, 2014

    By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - The British government minister responsible for Scotland warned on Sunday nationalists could win an independence referendum this year because of complacency among those campaigning to hold the United Kingdom together. Speaking ahead of a September 18 vote that will decide whether Scotland breaks its three-century-old union with England, Alistair Carmichael, Britain's Secretary of State for Scotland, said nationalists had a huge "war chest" to fund their campaign and appeared more "hungry" for victory. "Well I've got to tell everybody it could." Opinion polls have long shown Scots would vote to reject independence by a clear margin. More »

  • Pound story 'blow to no campaign'
    Pound story 'blow to no campaign' Sun, Mar 30, 2014

    The campaign against independence has suffered a "demolition" blow following a UK minister's suggestion the pound would be shared in the event of a Yes vote, Scotland's First Minister said. More »

  • Scottish Independence: Government Minister Says 'There Would Be Currency …
    Scottish Independence: Government Minister Says 'There Would Be Currency … Sat, Mar 29, 2014

    Independent Scotland may be allowed to use the pound as its currency in order to ensure fiscal and economic stability on both sides of the border, according to a government minister. Citing a minister who is "at the heart of the pro-union campaign" the Guardian reported that a currency union will eventually be agreed between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, despite stiff opposition from the UK's three main parties. "Of course there would be a currency union," said the minister, who would play a major role in the negotiations over the breakup of the UK if there were a yes vote. The UK wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane and the Scottish government wants a currency union – you can see the outlines of a deal." More »