Independence vote ‘not a test of Scottishness’

The independence referendum is not a test of Scottishness, but a test of common sense, former chancellor Alistair Darling has insisted.

The Better Together leader claimed the best way to change Scotland was to remain in the UK, but for the Scottish parliament to get new powers to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest.

He spoke out as the pro-UK campaign launched a new series of billboard adverts aimed at urging undecided voters to reject independence on September 18. The posters have slogans such as “I love my family, I’m saying no thanks” and “I love Scotland, I’m saying no thanks”.

Darling spoke of his love for his country, saying that was why he wanted “Scotland to be strong”.

“This poll is not a test of our Scottishness — it is a test of common sense.

“If you vote Yes on September 18 and Yes wins, you won’t be any more Scottish on September 19. None of us will be. But you will have made Scotland that bit poorer.”

Darling said being in the UK had been “no barrier at all to Scotland becoming wealthy and prosperous”.

But he said: “What I think is wrong about Scotland is how that wealth is distributed.

“That is why I want Scotland to change. That is why I want the Scottish Parliament to be stronger. That is why the Scottish Parliament will have the power to redistribute wealth from rich to poor.”

He said one million jobs in Scotland relied on the links with the rest of the UK, adding: “I want a million more opportunities like those for Scotland, not to put those jobs at risk.”

“I want to change Scotland — but for the better. And I don’t think you do that taking away all the security and opportunity we have by being in the United Kingdom.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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