Alex Salmond would welcome English soldiers training in an independent Scotland while Scots would still be able to watch Eastenders on the BBC.

The Scottish National Party leader wants to retain some cross-border institutions, and says "when Scotland becomes independent, England will lose a surly lodger and gain a good neighbour".

The suggestions are part of a push to persuade English voters of the case for English independence, arguing Scottish Labour MPs are being used to over-ride English MPs in England-only legislation. Although saying it is up to the English how to run their national affairs, he suggested a national parliament in London could have a reformed House of Lords with regional representation.

Mr Salmond's comments about shared services were made in an interview for the New Statesman magazine. He said an independent Scotland would want to build on the institutions already in place because of the Northern Irish peace process.

Mr Salmond also argues the Nordic Council could be a model for several countries in the British Isles to work together on common interests. And the Council of the Isles, sometimes known as the British-Irish Council, a body for national and devolved governments to work on common issues, could form a group to take its shared concerns to the European Council of Ministers in Brussels.

Looking years down the road to the point when Scotland could become independent, Mr Salmond argued the rail system would benefit from a Scottish government arguing for a high-speed link with London.

This was recently given low priority by a Whitehall transport review. "A stronger political forum in Scotland could make the case more strongly," said the SNP leader.

For Scottish viewers of British broadcasting, he said: "They'd still get Eastenders. You'd want to make sure BBC television is available in Scotland, as it is in Ireland.

"Obviously, you'd want a Scottish broadcaster, and it might well want to have shared relationships with the BBC in terms of programme making."

The SNP leader ruled out an independent Scotland allowing the Ministry of Defence to continue basing its nuclear missiles on the Clyde, but added: "There would be a different configuration of the Scottish defence force, but would friendly powers be able to use Scottish territory for training and other things? Yes, just as the British Army train in many countries."

In his renewed bid to persuade the English of the case for their own independence, Mr Salmond has highlighted Commons votes on foundation hospitals, top-up student fees and the probation service, which have been won by the government only because of Scottish Labour MPs' support.

In his interview for the New Statesman, he also makes the case with flattery: "I find most people in England find the idea of independence entirely reasonable.

"They're accepting and encouraging of people who stand up for themselves and articulate a powerful idea. That's part of the attraction of the English character.

"The English have respect for people who stand up for their own country and its own rights, and people who talk to them straight and honestly."

Mr Salmond claims there is little hostility to Scottish nationalism in England: "Whenever I do meetings in England, whether anti-war rallies or (BBC Radio's) Any Questions, I get a fantastic reception.

"The negative interpretation of the English view of Scottish independence is not borne out. It may be heard in a bar in the Home Counties but it's not been my general experience."

Mr Salmond has been approached by Bruce Kent, a leading figure in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, to take a higher-profile role throughout the UK in arguing the case against renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent. Full Interview

Douglas Fraser's full interview with Alex Salmond appears in a Scotland Special issue of The New Statesman magazine (out now). On Saturday, The Herald will feature BBC correspondent Allan Little's essay, Scotland: Time to say goodbye?, specially commissioned by the magazine to examine the 300-year-old Union between Scotland and England.