34% of Scots back independence

David Cameron and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond have signed a deal to grant the government in Edinburgh the power to hold a referendum on independence. But an ITV News Index poll appears to show only 34% of Scots support independence.

Latest ITV News reports

Prime Minister arrives for meeting with Alex Salmond

The Prime Minister paused to shake hands with First Minister Alex Salmond before walking to their meeting Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister has arrived at St. Andrew's House in Edinburgh ahead of his meeting with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

Their meeting will last around an hour before the official signing ceremony to transfer power from Westminster to Holyrood to legislate on the referendum.

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Prime Minister's shipyard visit designed to show how 'Scotland benefits from the UK'

The Prime Minister has been visiting Rosyth shipyard in Scotland where the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is being assembled.

An 11,000-tonne hull section of HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of its journey to Rosyth Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

According to the Daily Telegraph, a source "close to Mr Cameron" said the purpose of the visit was to show how “Scotland is benefiting the UK with the expertise in the shipyards and Scotland benefits from the UK with the scale of defence.”

Read more about HMS Queen Elizabeth and her construction here.

Schedule for agreement on independence referendum

The Prime Minister will meet Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond today to agree terms for a referendum on Scottish independence. Here's the order of events:

  • 10:00 - Salmond visits parents, children and family nurses
  • 10:30 - Cameron visits Rosyth shipyard where the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is being assembled
  • 12:30 - Cameron arrives at St. Andrew's House in Edinburgh
  • 12:45 - Cameron and Salmond meet in private
  • 13:45 - Signing ceremony

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Scottish government 'very satisfied' with referendum terms

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is "very satisfied" with the terms of a referendum on Scotland's independence to be formally agreed later today.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, she denied that her government had been out-negotiated on the issue having a second question on the ballot paper:

No, that's not how I see it. We have never said we wanted a second question on the ballot paper.

What we did say was that option shouldn't be ruled out prematurely; it would have been better left to the Scottish Parliament to decide that.

But in any negotiation there has to be compromise. Both sides have compromised but overall I'm very satisfied that we have a deal that guarantees a referendum made in Scotland.

– Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's Deputy First Minister

Do the Scottish support independence?

The most recent poll shows that support for Scotland's independence is dropping after the Olympics and the current economic climate.

  • Most recent poll (995 adults, published last week) showed support for the Union at 53% compared with support for independence at 28%.
  • Strongest support for independence among 18-24-year-olds.
  • Latest YouGov poll (1,000 people, commissioned by SNP) found 64% think the Scottish Government is better at making decisions for Scotland than that of UK (24%).

Scottish Secretary: 'Strong' opportunities for Scotland as part of UK

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, has said there are "strong" opportunities for Scotland if it remains part of the United Kingdom.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: "We have much more clout as part of the UK at the top table at the United Nations and Nato, in the European Union.

"We've got much greater security as part of an economy - the fourth largest defence spender in the world, [with] lots of jobs dependent on that."

Scotland faces 'most important political decision' in 300 years

The UK Government's Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore, has described the referendum on Scottish independence as the most important political decision in Scotland's history. He told BBC Radio Scotland:

What we're focused on today is a very important agreement which will allow us to have a referendum to make the most important political decision in our lives, in fact the most important political decision in Scotland's 300 years

– Michael Moore, Secretary for scotland
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