By our Christmas correspondent, Beth Lehem:
A new twist in the independence debate happened today as the First Minister revealed that he’d received a letter from Lucy aged 7 from Morningside asking if Santa Claus would still visit an independent Scotland.
The United Kingdom is a key stop in Santa’s itinerary, but Lucy’s letter has raised fears that an independent Scotland with different immigration procedures may hinder Father Christmas’s progress in his annual delivery, to the extent that he may simply choose not to go there.
However, the First Minister has moved to calm fears that independence will prevent children being disappointed on Christmas morning, arguing that an independent Scotland would welcome him “with open arms” and that he would address the issue in a White Christmas Paper to be released next week. He noted that the Clean Air Act (1993) banning smoky chimneys in areas of Edinburgh made the city on of his top 10 places to visit, so a stop in services was unlikely.
Lucy has yet to reply to Mr Salmond, but it is reported that she wants a pony and clarification on the EU question for Christmas.
As this is a busy time of year, Santa Claus himself is unavailable for comment, though the investigation as to why he speaks with Northern Irish accent when I’m in Belfast and a Scottish one when I’m in Edinburgh continues.
[For the avoidance of doubt, this was a parody and hopefully has a neutral tone. Apologies if you feel it does not.]