ALEX Salmond called for greater investment in the Borders during a visit to the region today (Monday, April 26).

The former First Minister arrived in Melrose shortly before 4pm as part of the Alba Party’s Scottish Parliament election campaign.

Mr Salmond, the party’s leader, said his wishes for the Borders can be summed up as “investment, investment, investment”.

He said the Borders Railway should be extended through Hawick and on to Carlisle, adding he is “dismayed” it has not already happened.

Roads also need improved in the region, he said – naming the A68 as an example.

On Brexit, Mr Salmond said “Brexiteer madness is costing the Borders dear”.

“If you take the great produce of the Borders – the marvellous food and drink, the textiles – it needs back into its most lucrative markets and we cannot delay,” Mr Salmond said.

He said he would want to see an independent Scotland joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) so the country could be in the European Economic Area (EEA) as soon as possible.

When asked if he would want an independent Scotland to become a member of the European Union, he said: “It depends on the terms Scotland would have.”

Next week, Mr Salmond’s party hopes to perform well on the ‘list’ vote.

He said other parties have “mediocre” manifestos, going on to brand the SNP’s as “far too cautious”.

Among the Alba Party’s policies is that a Scottish national investment bank should be created, which Mr Salmond says would allow the country to take advantage of low borrowing rates.

Mr Salmond was joined in Melrose by some of the South Scotland list candidates, alongside party activists.

The candidates were Cynthia Guthrie, Corri Wilson and Suzanne Blackley.