Second Scottish leaders' debate

The First Minister Alex Salmond and the leader of Better Together, Alistair Darling, meet for their second referendum debate, this time in Glasgow.

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  1. National

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


  1. National

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
  1. National

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 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.


Leaders clash over future of North Sea oil

Revenues from North Sea oil would be an important element of the budget for an independent Scotland Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire

The leaders are debating the issue of North Sea Oil.

Alex Salmond says that "every other country in Europe would give their back teeth to have North Sea Oil".

Alistair Darling argues that it is risky to rely on a source of revenue that is very volatile, saying that Salmond is "gambling our children's future".

  1. National

Salmond and Darling prepare for second TV debate

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond and the leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling are preparing to take part in the second televised debate on the Scottish Referendum.

The leaders will debate four topics: Economy, Scotland at Home, Scotland in the World and What Happens after the Vote. They will also have a chance to cross-examine each other.

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond (L) and leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling at the first televised debate Credit: STV

The debate kicks off at 8:30pm and will screened on BBC Scotland One and across the UK on BBC Two.

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