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  1. National

Richard Branson: 'Imperative' Scotland stays in UK

Sir Richard Branson has weighed into the debate over Scottish independence, arguing it is "imperative" for the country's prosperity that it remains in the UK.

"On a personal basis I would love to see Scotland stay as part of the UK. As a businessman, considering Scotland's economy, prosperity and security, I think it is imperative it stays in the Union," he said.

Sir Richard Branson claimed it was 'imperative' Scotland remains in the UK. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sir Richard, whose wife is from Glasgow, also said it was clear that Scotland should be given extra devolved powers, even if there is a No vote.

Writing on the Virgin website, he said: "It is clear that the people of Scotland want change. And whatever the outcome of the referendum, change is on the cards."

"Keeping the status quo is no longer an option and the Scottish Parliament needs greater powers," the businessman added.

  1. National

Clegg: SNP guilty of 'extreme scaremongering' on NHS

Nick Clegg has claimed it is the SNP rather than Westminster leaders, who are most guilty of "scaremongering" over the independence referendum result.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Alex Salmond's "ludicrous" claims that the NHS is under threat from remaining in the union.

Mr Clegg also said it was "quite right" to warn of the "considerable risks and costs" of independence.

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Former SNP deputy warns firms of 'day of reckoning'

The former deputy leader of the SNP has warned big firms they face a "day of reckoning" after what he claimed was "scaremongering" over Scottish independence.

Jim Sillars accused certain companies, including banks such as RBS and Lloyd's, of "subverting Scotland's democratic process" by making interventions in the referendum debate.

Jim Sillars alongside Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He warned that oil company BP would face nationalisation "in part or in whole" if Scotland becomes independent.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Edinburgh, Mr Sillars also issued a strong warning to banks, saying: "As for the bankers: your casino days, rescued by socialisation of your liabilities while you waltz off with the profits, will be over."

The Scottish Conservatives' finance spokesman Gavin Brown accused Mr Sillars of making "threatening" and "utterly nnecessary" remarks.

  1. National

Better Together: Vote will go right down to the wire

Better Together's campaign director has said the referendum race will go "right down to the wire", after the latest poll gave the pro-union campaign a narrow lead.

Responding to the ICM/Guardian survey, Blair McDougall said: "This is the third poll in a row to show the No campaign in the lead, but this fight for the future of Scotland will go right down to the wire."

Yes and No supporters campaigning in Edinburgh. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He also claimed that recent statements from big businesses about the possible ramifications of a Yes vote had "brought home the huge risks of separation".

Farage in Glasgow to push 'no' campaign

Nigel Farage says a yes vote won't deliver independence for Scotland because Alex Salmond wants to stay in the EU.

The UKIP leader is holding a pro-union rally in Glasgow tonight. But campaigning in cities across Scotland today, the Deputy First Minister said his visit will help persuade people to vote yes.

It comes as a poll published this afternoon suggests the race is too close to call - with just two points separating the two campaigns.

Farage and Sturgeon explain more below:

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