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Nicola Sturgeon: David Cameron 'cowardly'

David Cameron is "cowardly" for encouraging unity from London and not debating Scottish independence in Edinburgh, the deputy first minister of Scotland has said.

Nicola Sturgeon said the speech was a sign of the "jitters" running through the No vote camp.

This is a cowardly speech from a prime minister who uses the Olympic Park in London to give high-handed lectures against Scotland's independence but hasn't got the guts to come to Scotland or anywhere else to make his case in a head-to-head debate.

David Cameron, as the Tory Prime Minister, is the very embodiment of the democratic case for a Yes vote for an independent Scotland - and he knows it....

A Yes vote will put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands, and will mean we will never again have to endure Tory governments, prime ministers and policies we didn't vote for.

– Nicola Sturgeon

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  1. National

63 million 'profoundly affected' by Scots referendum

Everyone living in the United Kingdom will be "profoundly affected" by outcome of the Scottish independence referendum, David Cameron is expected to say in a speech later today.

Speaking from the Olympic stadium, the Prime Minister will argue that the UK is a "powerful brand" in the modern world, with a global reputation for being "unique, brilliant, creative, eccentric, ingenious".

My argument today is that though only four million people can vote in this referendum, all 63 million of us are profoundly affected.

There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19 in a different country, with a different future ahead of it.

That's why this speech is addressed not to the people of Scotland, but to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

We would be deeply diminished without Scotland. This matters to all our futures. And everyone in the UK can have a voice in this debate

– David Cameron

Prime Minister appeals for Scotland to remain part of Britain

The Prime Minister has promised to bridge the gap between the north and south, blaming Labour for allowing regions like ours to fall behind other parts of the UK.

In his speech to the Conservative Conference, David Cameron said he was the man to continue the economic recovery, with a brief appeal for Scotland to remain part of Britain.

Our Political Correspondent Paul Brand watched the speech in Manchester - watch his full report below.

Prime Minister answers your questions

The Prime Minister has been talking to ITV Border's Political Correspondent Paul Brand at the Tory Party conference, where he was answering questions from ITV Border viewers.

Mr Cameron has told decriminalising drugs was not the right thing to do. David Cameron said it would only make them more available and increase their use.

He also said the 2RRF - second battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - which recruits heavily from this region, must be axed.

This is despite the Defence Secretary being heckled yesterday over the jobs that will be lost in the North East:

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'David Cameron should apologise for Westminster's betrayal of Scotland's communities' says SNP Defence minister

“It is the most enormous blunder for the No campaign to place Trident at the centre of the referendum debate.

"The Parliament and 80 per cent of the people of Scotland want to get rid of Trident, and the obscene waste of up to £100 billion it represents at a time of austerity and savage welfare cuts from Westminster.

"David Cameron should be using this visit as his opportunity to apologise for Westminster's betrayal of Scotland’s communities and its constant broken promises on defence."

– Angus Robertson MP, Spokesperson, Scottish National Party Defence

Cameron says 'keep trident'

As part of his visit to Scotland, David Cameron is due to visit HMS Victorious, a Royal Navy submarine which keeps Trident nuclear missiles continuously at sea.

The Scottish National Party say they would scrap Trident in an independent Scotland.

However, Mr Cameron says it would be 'foolish' to abandon it because of the threat of nuclear attack from North Korea.

Prime Minister in Scotland

The Prime Minister will say the UK is 'stronger and safer together' as he visits Scotland today.

Speaking ahead of a trip to the offices of a defence contractor, David Cameron said:

“Scotland has a world renowned and highly skilled defence sector that employs over 12,600 people and has annual sales in excess of £1.8 billion.

“Being part of the UK opens doors for the Scottish defence industry around the globe. When we sell Typhoons overseas, this benefits jobs and growth for companies making components in Scotland.

“Scotland counts for more on the world stage because it is part of the United Kingdom and Scottish defence jobs are more secure as part of the United Kingdom. "Defence matters. We are stronger and safer together.”

– Prime Minister, David Cameron

Meanwhile, ahead of the visit, Scotland's Deputy First Minister has stepped up calls for David Cameron to agree to a live TV debate with Alex Salmond on Scottish Independence.

"First and foremost in such a referendum debate should be the UK Government’s brutal welfare cuts – and how David Cameron can possibly justify the Westminster system imposing iniquitous measures such as the Bedroom Tax on Scotland when over 90 per cent of Scottish MPs voted against it.

“David Cameron should use his visit to Scotland to speak for himself and agree to a head-to-head debate with Alex Salmond – if he does not, the conclusion we can take is that he is incapable of defending Westminster’s attacks on working families and some of our most vulnerable citizens to the people of Scotland.”

– Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister
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