Scotland politics

The referendum victory speech Alex Salmond never gave

Alex Salmond stood down as first minister after Scotland voted No in the referendum Image copyright PA
Image caption Alex Salmond stood down as first minister after Scotland voted No in the referendum

The text of a speech Alex Salmond was ready to deliver if Scotland had voted Yes to independence has been released.

The former first minister, who resigned after Scotland voted No on 18 September last year, gave a text of his speech to a university for future research.

His victory speech would have declared that Scotland was "a nation reborn".

He was ready to declare a "new and unbreakable relationship" with the British isles and extend "an immediate hand of friendship" to No voters.


The full text of the speech

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

"The community of this realm has spoken. Scotland shall be independent once again. To those who voted No, I extend an immediate hand of friendship.

"I do so with respect for our difference, with admiration for the passion and principle of an opposing view strongly held, and with the recognition that the joy of the majority be tempered by the disappointment of the minority.

"We are One nation. One Scotland. Let us shape the future together.

New politics

"This campaign reclaimed from politicians and parties the monopoly of power and decision-making.

"This must be the start of new politics - a time when the voices of the many will be heard.

"A time when the dispossessed and the forgotten assert their rights as citizens. A time of empowerment and participation.

"To our friends and families across these isles waking to our new democracy, we say this; know that, in Scotland, you will always have your closest friend, greatest ally and most steadfast partner.

"Independence is about equality and mutual respect. Those principles will define our new and unbreakable relationship.

Smooth the transition

"I have just spoken with the Prime Minister.

"This morning, we renewed our joint commitment under the Edinburgh Agreement to work constructively and positively to implement the will of the people. That work starts immediately.

"It is, however, important that the people of Scotland remember this; today, tomorrow and for the next 18 months our lives, businesses, shops, schools and hospitals continue exactly as before.

"The dialogue to resolve any differences with the Westminster government will continue in that period, and will smooth the transition to independence.

"Finally, I know that the eyes of the world are today on Scotland.

"We will use the unprecedented attention to make clear that Scotland fully intends to be a constructive and progressive member of the international community.

Greatest day

"Our friends in Europe should understand with total clarity that Scotland's future lies as a fully-engaged participant in the European Union.

"Our path is towards inclusion and co-operation, not isolation.

"But those matters are for another day.

"This morning, I want every person, Yes voters, No voters, everyone in this proud and ancient nation to pause, reflect upon and remember this greatest day in Scotland's history.

"We did this. We made it happen. We believed. We trusted ourselves and trusted each other.

"A country reborn. A democracy reclaimed. We reach towards the future.

"What we have done this day will inspire and empower not just this generation but the many yet unborn.

"They will learn of this momentous day and thank you for investing your trust in each other. And in them."