The Scottish First Minister told the Queen for the first time in public that Scotland should become an “equal” but separate nation to England while retaining the Union of the Crowns.
In a pointed message to the monarch that she has implicitly backed separation, he quoted back to her a speech she gave at Dublin Castle in May in which she said Britain and Ireland are “firm friends and equal partners”.
Mr Salmond delivered his strident warning that the UK’s days are numbered during an address to the Scottish Parliament at the Royal opening of its fourth session since devolution began in 1999.
The Queen is understood to have told David Cameron of her anxiety the 304-year-old Union between England and Scotland will be broken in the wake of Mr Salmond’s landslide election victory two months ago.
The Scottish National Party leader intends to hold an independence referendum in the second half of his five-year term, but yesterday attempted to reassure the monarch she will remain head of state in Scotland regardless of the result.
Saturday, July 02, 2011
Scotland moves closer to separation from England
Posted by Ben Cunningham at 12:08 PM