Scottish First Minister wants talks on independence
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has invited UK prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to Scotland to discuss an independence referendum, reports the BBC.
Salmond and Clegg spoke for about 10 minutes at the beginning of a British Irish summit in Dublin, hosted by Irish Prime Minster Enda Kenny and attended by leaders from across Britain and Ireland.
The discussion, described as "adult and mature" by a close source, took place in the Throne room in Dublin castle.
After the summit, the Scottish First Minister said he felt the two governments could have a "constructive dialogue."
"We've got an answerable political mandate, that is an absolute majority in a proportional parliamentary system to conduct a referendum on Scotland's constitutional future," he said.
"Once we publish the Scottish government's consultation document, I'm very happy to meet the prime minister, the deputy prime minister to talk through these things in a positive way.
"Whatever Scotland's constitutional future we're going to be willing and positive contributors to the British Irish Council."
Speaking on proposals for a reduction in corporation tax in Northern Ireland, the first minister said Scottish independence could "offer a solution to it."
"If Scotland were an independent country, Northern Ireland wouldn't have to worry about Scottish corporation tax relative to the rest of the UK," he said.
Clegg said the Scottish government had a democratic right to put the issue of independence to the Scottish people and to let them decide.
"We acknowledge and respect that," he said.
"But we have a role, in the British government, to make sure, not least because of all the legal ambiguities, that that process is as clear and decisive as possible.
"I think that is what the Scottish people deserve."
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