Pizza, politics and the referendum

ITV Border Political Editor, Peter MacMahon, blogs on the competing claims over promises of more powers for Scotland

Live updates

Better Together: 'Strong ties' at risk

In response to Alex Salmond's visit to Carlisle, to discuss the implications of a 'yes' vote, Better Together say he risks straining cultural and historical ties between England and Scotland.

"People will find it hard to take seriously Alex Salmond's claim that he wants to be best pals with England if we leave the UK given that he has spent a career blaming the English for all Scotland's problems. As part of the UK we have strong ties of culture and history - the only thing putting this at risk is separation."

– Better Together spokesperson


Salmond: 'Independent Scotland should keep the pound'

Alex Salmond will insist that Scotland keeps the pound if the country becomes independent.

Mr Salmond is visiting Carlisle today to encourage people that a 'yes' vote in the referendum would be good for local business.

He is due to say that people in the North of England will still be able to trade and work with an independent Scotland without changing currency.

"People would still live in Annan and work in Carlisle, or live in Penrith and work in Lockerbie. Friends and family would continue to visit each other. We would still watch many of the same television programmes. People from Scotland and England would still celebrate personal unions - by getting married in Carlisle Cathedral or perhaps by going to Gretna instead."

– Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister

It is still undecided what currency would be used in the event of Scottish independence.

Reintroducing a border would be a 'tragedy'

Alex Salmond will be visiting Carlisle today to encourage the Border community to back the 'yes' vote in the independence referendum.

He is due to say that people of North England would still be able to work and trade in an independent Scotland without changing currency.

However Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, has argued against reintroducing a border between England and Scotland.

MSP not convinced a 'yes' vote will benefit Carlisle

Alex Salmond will deliver a keynote speech in Carlisle this evening.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says the First Minister's policy will not benefit the economy this side of the border.

“People in Carlisle will be surprised to see the First Minister. His entire economic policy is based on undercutting the Carlisle economy on corporation tax, as indeed he plans to do to the rest of the north of England. “His policy is nothing more than a cross-border economic raid. It is designed to strip investment out of England. People in Carlisle should be wary.”

– Willie Rennie MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrats


Labour reveals devolution plans for Scotland

Scotland should control two-fifths of its own revenues with the power to raise taxes on the rich, according to Labour.

The party has unveiled the long-awaited findings of its Devolution Commission in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Parliament should raise around 40% of its own revenues, around £2 billion more than the most recent Scotland Act.

The Scotland Act will give Holyrood control over more tax raising powers in exchange for a 10p in the pound cut in the block grant, but Labour believes this should be extended to 15p - giving Scotland control of three quarters of the basic rate of income tax.

Better Together Campaign offers "positive vision" for union

The leader of the Better Together campaign and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling said he was offering a "positive vision" for staying the UK.

On the day of the six-month countdown to the referendum, Mr Darling added that independence would bring "huge risks".

"What the last few weeks have shown is that leaving the UK would create huge risks and cost jobs in Scotland.

"On what would replace the Pound, how our pensions would be paid and what would happen to our membership of the EU, leaving the UK would be a big leap in the dark.

"This is what Scotland's largest employers are saying. From Standard Life to Shell, and from RBS to the shipyard owners on the Clyde, walking away from the UK means people in Scotland would lose their job. That's the price of independence. It's a risk that we simply don't have to take."

– Leader Better Together Campaign Alistair Darling

Deputy First Minister sets out "compelling reasons" to vote for independence

The Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out what she claims are six "compelling reasons" in favour of independence to mark the milestone that it's six months to the Scottish Referendum.

She argues an independent Scotland would create more jobs, spend tax revenues on "Scotland's priorities", protect public services, "guarantee we get governments we vote for", set up an oil fund and have a retirement age in line with Scotland's circumstances.

"The referendum is a choice between taking Scotland's future into Scotland's hands or leaving our future in the hands of an out-of-touch Westminster establishment.

"The No campaign call themselves Project Fear but we have seen a move to Project Threat in recent days with increasingly over-the-top comments.

"So it's no wonder that support for Yes continues to advance in the polls while the No campaign has stalled - with a swing of only around 5% now needed to secure a Yes vote in September."

– Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
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