Live updates


The referendum business battle

Battles over business and the future of Scotland's NHS dominated the independence debate today.

While the Yes campaign argued that only independence could protect Scotland from Westminster cuts, Better Together highlighted a warning from more than a hundred business leaders that the case for leaving the UK has not been made.

Kathryn Samson has the main events of the day.


Alistair Darling: 'We do not need to divide these islands'

The leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, had these parting words:

No country the size of Scotland can compare to what Scotland has done. Our successes of invention, of engineering of medicine. Scotland gave the world the Age of Enlightenment. Now of course we could go it alone, but I don't believe we'd be as successful as Scotland will be as part of the United Kingdom ... We have now had 3.5 hours of prime television time and the two of us have debated and I still haven't had straight answers to a simple question: Alex Salmond says you and I don't need to know what the Plan B is, well yes we do ... We do not need to divide these islands into separate states in order to assert our Scottish identity ...

– Alistair Darling



Alex Salmond: 'This is our time, our moment'

The leaders now have an opportunity to make a closing statement.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond goes first:

The decision that we make in three weeks' time will define us, this generation and also the future of the generation. Few societies anywhere on Earth have secured this opportunity to vote themselves into independence ... in a process that has been agreed and consented ... It's about believing we can govern ourselves better than anyone else can ... This is our time, our moment, let's seize it with both hands.

– alex salmond, scotland's first minister

Darling draws attention to Scotland's 'ageing population'

The debate has moved on to the second topic, Scotland at Home, with several questions from the audience focussing on the NHS.

The leaders debated the NHS in an independent Scotland
The leaders debated the NHS in an independent Scotland Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Mr Darling says that the NHS in Scotland receives higher public expenditure per head of population that in the rest of the UK, drawing attention to Scotland's "ageing population".

First Minister Salmond argues that there is growing privatisation in the NHS under the current British government.


Darling: Currency union 'not like a CD collection'

Alistair Darling counters saying that a currency union is "not like a CD collection that you split up in a divorce".

Even if you got one [a currency union], I can't understand why the nationalists would want one because our borrowing, our tax and our spend would be decided not in Edinburgh but in what would be a foreign government in London.

– Alistair Darling
Load more updates