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Darling: Government must not get 'blank Brexit cheque'

Lord Darling of Roulanish warned against a 'blank cheque' for Brexit. Credit: House of Lords

Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has said the EU referendum result must be accepted, but ruled out giving the Government a "blank cheque".

Lord Darling of Roulanish's comments came as the House of Lords debated the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill for the second day.

The legislation, which would allow Theresa May to trigger the formal two-year Brexit process, has already cleared the Commons unamended with big majorities.

During his speech Lord Darling said none of the negotiations could be conducted in secret, since with 27 other countries involved there would be a running commentary every day.

"Let's be grown-up about it. Let's engage positively," Lord Darling said.

"From the Brexiteers and Government point of view, they have to accept there is a large section of the population in this country, a large membership in the Lords and the Commons, who won't accept some of the extreme arguments being put forward and think the voice of reason must prevail for the good of our country."

Lord Darling also warned the "middle ground of British politics" had been abandoned, adding: "That's a very dangerous place for us to be."

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Darling: Referendum 'biggest decision in a generation'

The former Chancellor Alistair Darling has said the EU referendum is the "biggest decision" the UK will make "in a generation", as he called on people to be more engaged in the debate.

Mr Darling's intervention comes after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she "personally" hopes Britain votes to stay "part and parcel" of the EU.

Speaking to ITV News, the Remain campaigner said:

It's the biggest decision as a country that we will make in a generation. And when you look at the economic case, the case for jobs, the case for our standard of living, as well as the social case, the benefits for the protection of workers, they're all powerful reasons for us remaining in the European Union and not taking a leap in the dark.

– Alistair Darling

Miliband: Darling was an 'extraordinary public servant'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has paid tribute to Alistair Darling as a man of "values, decency and kindness" who "distinguished himself as an extraordinary public servant" after he confirmed he will stand down as an MP at the next election.

Mr Miliband said Mr Darling played a "crucial role in helping" Labour win power in 1997 and showed "both conviction and competence" in his various Cabinet roles.

Ed Miliband said Alistair Darling will 'always be remembered' for leading and winning the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

He said the former chancellor could "take pride" that he "helped steer our country through the worst financial crisis to hit the world in living memory", adding: "His was a calm head when calm heads were needed.?"

Mr Miliband said the MP for Edinburgh South West would "always be remembered for leading and winning" the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom and would be "much missed from the House of Commons".

Darling confirms exit and backs Murphy in Labour race

Alistair Darling has confirmed he will stand down as a Labour MP at the next election and thrown his weight behind Jim Murphy to become the party's new leader in Scotland.

Jim has the enthusiasm, the energy and above all he's a fighter. For too long we have sat back when we needed to fight.

– Alistair Darling, speaking to the Financial Times
Alistair Darling has backed Jim Murphy in the race to replace Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour leader. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Labour MPs lead tributes to 'honourable' Alistair Darling

Labour MPs have paid tribute to Alistair Darling following reports the former chancellor will stand down as an MP at the next election.

Conservative MP Matt Hancock also paid tribute to Mr Darling from across Parliament's benches.

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Alistair Darling 'to stand down' as MP at next election

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling is set to stand down as a Labour MP at the next election, the Financial Times has reported.

Alistair Darling entered Parliament in 1987 but will reportedly vacate his Edinburgh South West seat next year. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna led tributes to Mr Darling, who led the successful Better Together campaign to keep Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

Alistair Darling: We have chosen unity over division

The leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, has called the result a "momentous result for Scotland and also the United Kingdom as a whole".

Alistair Darling addressing Better Together supporters. Credit: ITV News

He said that it "reaffirmed all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together - let them never be broken".

But he said the surge in support for independence showed great dissatisfaction and that "every politician must now listen to their cry for change".

Darling: People 'do not expect to be shouted down'

Scottish people "do not expect to be shouted down" and want to debate freely, the leader of the Better Together campaign told Good Morning Britain.

While Alistair Darling acknowledge it was only a small minority of Yes campaigners who had intimidated voters, he said it is "not the sort of Scotland any of us want to live in."

Darling and Salmond to take part in Mumsnet debate

The leaders of the Better Together and Yes Scotland campaigns, Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond, are about to take part in a web debate on Mumsnet.

The move is being seen as an attempt by both leaders to reach out to female voters, who polls have shown to be in favour of independence for the most part.

Alex Salmond (L) and Alistair Darling Credit: Mumsnet

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: "Our Scottish users have been actively debating the referendum on Mumsnet.

“Many are firmly in either the Yes or No camp but a significant number are still very much undecided and we hope the webchat will help them reach a decision on who to vote for.”

“The issue of the economic viability of an independent Scotland has been raised far more frequently than individual household budgets in discussions, but the impact of independence on jobs, welfare, health and education are all areas of concern for Mumsnet users.”

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