Scotland should set up its own deal with countries including Norway after the UK leaves the European Union, Alex Salmond has claimed.
The former First Minister highlighted the European Free Trade Association, of which the UK was a founding member before leaving to join the European Communities in 1973.
It is currently comprised of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein promotes free trade and economic integration between its four member states and the European Union, although it has no official influence over the Brussels bloc.
In a video for The Courier, Mr Salmond said: “The prospect is opening up for Scotland. If we get dragged out of the European Union with the London government, with the referendum, then we could establish a relationship with EFTA and the European Economic Area.
“That would be a prospect for Scotland, to join that association of small but extremely prosperous European countries whose access to international trade is one of the keys to their prosperity.
“All those centuries ago when the Vikings were raiding across Europe, they were also trading across Europe. They knew way back then that trade was the key to prosperity and we should remember that now.”
Sources close to the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman clarified that he was talking specifically about a special deal for Scotland in the context of Brexit.
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “If Alex Salmond was remotely interested in trade, he’d recognise the importance of Scotland’s closest neighbours to business.
“Instead, he and his SNP colleagues want to make it more difficult to trade between Scotland and England.”