08/09/2014 Newsnight


The programme comes live from Edinburgh as the polls narrow on the independence question. With Emily Maitlis.

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Tonight we're live in Edinburgh, still part of the United Kingdom,


but a vote next week to change all that for good. With ten days to go


the yes campaign has electrified the race. What can the unionists come up


with to win hearts now? These are big changes, that we are proposing,


to strengthen the Scottish Parliament but at the same time to


stay as part of the United Kingdom. The shivers are running from head to


foot through Westminster's political establishment, will they be looking


at a collective failure to save 300 years of history. Polling God John


Curtice takes us through tonight's numbers and... Obviously the debate


about Scottish independence has focussed on the people behind me who


live in Scotland. What about the other participants in the


300-year-old marriage, what does it mean for the people who live over


there. The Scottish shadow secretary may soon have a country in his own


portfolio, how does he feel? Good evening from Edinburgh, not


since hamlet's agony over to be or not to be has such a deceptively


simple question proved so difficult to answer. Half of Scotland want to


be an independent country and the other half don't. In race that


seemed to be happily chugging along for 18 months and the final paces


with numbers that appear to be too close to call have been electrified,


leaving a country split down the middle. Today it was the turn of a


former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to set the agenda, a


man who some would say declared his own independence from Westminster


some four years ago. Cutting it fine, after more than 800


days of campaigning, tonight a new promise for the union has arrived. A


timetable for Gordon Brown for more powers over tax and welfare and


soon. I say that this represents the new union of the 21st century. It is


essentially Home Rule for Scotland within the United Kingdom. It is as


close to federalism as you can be in a country where 85% of the


population is from one-nation. It is extensive social and economic


devolution, that ends the accusation that we're a centralist, unitary


uniform state. There is ten days late and


uniform state. There is ten days comes out with promises? I hate to


say this I wrote a few months ago we should set a timetable and be clear


about how quickly we could deliver the proposals. Who has been holding


it back? I made the proposal to the Conservatives and said this was the


right thing to do. I hope they will now come round to the view this is


the right thing to do. One source in the no campaign describes what is


happening as horrific in streets, where in the past, Labour hardly had


to try, voters are starting to say yes. With just ten days to go, there


is evidence the SNP is starting to do what they had always hoped to and


had to achieve. Peel off traditional solid Labour support from places


like this and move those voters towards backing independence. It is


not just a frenzy caused by one poll, but a real conviction, there


is a chance for independence. We shouldn't be having our imperialist


masters telling us what to do. Imperialists masters? Well we were


all part of the empire and Scotland contributed at one


all part of the empire and Scotland seen the light and getting away from


it. Mitch Darling Dearly McAllister -- Alastair darling is too keen to


hang on. You are having a pop. You have walked past the yes campaign


and said "scary" why? A lot of people are jumping on the yes


bandwagon without considering the final consequences. The argument at


the heart of the campaign is not that independence is a panacea, it


puts us in charge of our own resources not just what Westminster


allows us, we take decisions about our own priorities.


If the pound slips to an all time low, what happens when you win?


Let's be calm, during political campaigns on budget days it is not


unusual to see the value of the pound fluctuate. Much of the


uncertainty flows from the UK's Government irrational refusal to


discuss about a currency union. Why is it irrational? It would be


against the interests of Scotland but the rest of the UK in terms of


transaction costs and losing the value of Scottish exports from the


balance of payments now. Why would a rational UK Government turn its back


on the vast contribution of Scottish exports to the balance of payments


putting its trade deficit. It is Scotland turning its back on the


rest of the UK not the rest of the UK turning its back on Scotland? We


are not turning our back on anybody, we will be working with friends


across the islands but on the basis of equality. It is not just about a


country with more of its own control, for some voters it is about


escape. We will be laughing at you... . Again and again the no


campaign are attacked for being proto-Tories. Exiting is a way of


moving away from Conservatives for good. Get the Tories out. What it


says is "to end Tory rule forever? " I voted against devolution in 1979,


I thought we were the one country. Margaret Thatcher came along and


proved we are not. Should people in 2014 be voting to get rid of


something that you believe Margaret Thatcher created? That is not


exactly looking to the future? Every positive has a negative, we are


voting for democracy, that is the most important thing. It will be a


total disaster for Scotland. I strongly believe that we are all


very much better together. We are intermarried, 400,000 people from


the rest of the UK live and work in Scotland. 800,000 people live and


work in the UK from Scotland. Absolutely no, I will move to


England. You feel as passionately as that? As passionately. Why? Because


if you have got any money we're going to be taxed to the hilt.


Gordon Brown is determined with his plan to turn yeses to no. But it


won't be easy. Whatever the unionists put forward in these last


ten days it might struggle to get through. The yes campaign isn't just


putting forward an argument for independence, but it is honing in on


a distrust, a dislike, a disillusionment with Westminster.


And that's starting to work. Unhappy unionists claim their private


numbers still hold up. Those who would leave the UK and start anew


may have the energy, but yes still feels like maybe.


That was We will talk more about that disillusionment in a moment.


First to the weekend, and the YouGov poll put the yes campaign ahead for


the first time. An independent Scotland now seems more like a


realistic possibility. The psephologist John Curtice has put


together a poll of polls looking at how what Scotland thinks has changed


over the past year. Based on the average of six key polls at the


beginning of the year, the no vote was on a lead of 25 points. Now


according to YouGov those supporting independence are now at 51%, leaving


the no vote lagging behind at 49%. Let's join Professor Curtice right


now. And there is a new poll that is coming out tonight. I know that is


embargoed until midnight. But some of the papers are looking at it.


Broadly, John, does that follow the same thrust as the one this weekend?


Well, at the weekend we had two opinion poll, one from YouGov


suggesting a dramatic swing putting yes ahead, but Panelbase putting not


detecting a swing. It looks from what I have seen that maybe when the


poll comes out at midnight we will be confirmed in the view that


something has indeed changed and this race looks an awful lot closer.


Where you Where do you feel it is changing? Is it to do with age,


gender-based The truth is one group seems to be resistant to the idea of


an independent Scotland and remains as unconvinced of the idea of it


that is the over 60s and the over 65s. The two groups amongst whom


there is progress being made, that is more working-class less well off


voters who have always been inclined to say that they were more willing


to vote yes, they seem to have swung more strongly in numbers to yes. And


there is some evidence that the yes side have overcome the gender gap,


if it was only men voting the yes vote would have it. Certainly some


of the target groups for the yes side, younger voters, working-class


voters and women they seem to have made progress under. Do the polls


seem to suggest what is driving the change now. I mean when more people


appear to be saying yes, or the undecides are no longer undecided


what is pushing them? The first thing that is pushing them is the


issue we have always known is central to whether or not someone is


likely to be a yes or no voter which is whether or not they think that


independence will be good or bad for Scotland's economy, that, which


according to YouGov was something where as recently as June we almost


had twice as many people who said they were pessimistic about the


economic consequences were optimistic, those two groups are now


roughly equal in size. There has been a dramatic increase in


optimisim that independence would make Scotland better, that is a


message that has got through to voters who are currently not


terribly better off and are looking for a better tomorrow. You may ask


how is that possible given that during recent weeks one of the key


messages from the no side is Alex Salmond doesn't have a plan for the


currency and you can't keep the pound, it will all be disaster. The


answer seems to be that the argument on the currency has been overegged


by the no side. And that what was already true, that a significant


proportion of Scotland's population thought they were bluffing, that


proportion has increased considerably by YouGov it is


actually only half do so. This raises a question as to whether or


not the no side have a credibility problem that voters have stopped


believing the claims about the consequences of the division that


they are trying to get across. We have the Treasury spokesman with


us in London tonight. If it comes down to the economy, what are we to


make of the pound today at its lowest rate for some ten months


against the dollar, over fears that yes will win? Over the last year the


pound has fallen around 1% a day over 16 occasions against the euro,


on three occasions against the dollar. So what we are seeing isn't


actually that unusual. I think it is less to do with Scottish


independence and more to do with the markets being rather spooked by the


lack of preparedness of the UK Government, particularly their


strange idiotic refusal even to negotiate on a currency union which


has Nicola Sturgeon said earlier in the programme is clearly in the best


interest to Scotland and the rest of the UK. Right so when Alex Salmond


during the debate there were three Plan Bs but refused to explain what


would happen without the pound, can you fill in the gaps? What the First


Minister all along has said is we have looked at every single one of


the options and we know and inAlastair Darling confirmed it, the


formal currency union that the commission proposed is the best


option. The sterling zone and sterling the currency needs the ?100


billion of Scottish exports receipted in sterling. It needs that


desperately. It also is the ?60 billion fair trade from England into


Scotland needs to avoid transaction cost that is could destroy hundreds


of thousands of English jobs, there are many reasons why currency union


makes sense. When you have eminent economists like Professor Krugman


today writing there is no way you can join a currency union when the


country has refused, not to have control of your own currency, he


says, is nightmarish. You are just going to ignore that? I'm not going


to ignore it, I will always listen to what the professor says, but one


looks at Germany, that uses a shared currency and they are doing rather


well. Sterling is our currency as much as the rest of the UK's, for


all of the reasons I have given, Scotland's exports are ?100 billion,


the ?60 billion of trade from south to north, a currency union is in


both country's best interest, the failure of the UK Government so far


to enter into serious discussions about this, the campaign tactic of


burying their head in the sand and saying no is now coming home to


roost. I hope they see sense quickly, that we get the sterling


and the currency stablised and we can move forward with independence


to continue to trade properly between the countries and for the


whole of these islands around the world in sterling. I'm sorry to


interrupt, we have seen Gordon Brown come out today, the Chancellor of


the Exchequer yesterday talking about plans for details, offerings


of what would happen to a loyal Scotland, let as say. Would you say


that a no vote would still be a good day for Scotland? No, and I have to


say I thought the intervention today by Gordon Brown was bizarre. You


know a backbench Labour MP making promises he cannot possibly keep,


expecting a Tory Government to implement a Labour devolution plan,


the weakest of the three plans that the three unionists parties have


previously proposed and they are pretending some how bizarrely this


was the best thing we could possibly have. The only way to get the power


Scotland needs to save the NHS, to grow the economy, to create jobs is


to vote yes and the only reason, there is no devolution proposal on


the ballot paper is because people like Gordon Brown and David Cameron


couldn't agree 18 months ago so we have a yes-no vote and everybody now


knows the yes vote is the only way to deliver the power Scotland needs.


Thank you very much indeed. Douglas Alexander has been listening to


that. Isn't that the truth that if you had actually got the third


question, what used to be called Devo Max or some form of extended


powers for Scotland you wouldn't anybody this mess now? That wouldn't


satisfy the nationalist, the key question is in or out of the UK.


Today was the day reality interrupted the story the


nationalists are trying to say. We saw ?2 billion off the stocks of


Scottish companies, that is real people's pensions and the threat to


real people's jobs. That was on the basis of a single opinion poll.


These are not threats that are being made, that is the facts of what the


market today judged would be the potential consequences of a decision


to vote yes on September 18th. Was Gordon Brown part of that reality.


When on earth did you think he was going to come and debate, he was


never been an electoral Viagra for you? He secured a record number of


votes for Labour in 2010 in Scotland. And the fact is he speaks


with great authority, not just as a former Prime Minister, but someone


who has revoted his whole life to secure Home Rule within the UK in


Scotland. What he has done today is set out both a timetable for


legislation and an agenda for change. You knew he was going to do


that today? I certainly did. How long ago did you know it was coming?


As Gordon said, we have been pushing the British Government for weeks.


There were further conversations last week, directly involving


Gordon, so that there was maximum clarity for voters before September


18th. When you say pushing you mean you would like this to come a lot


earlier? We have said for months we think there is a case for bringing


the maximum degree of clarity to this debate. The three parties have


had their own proposals and published over a series of months.


Voters will know with certainty we will have within months a new


Scotland Act that will deliver, if I'm honest what most people in


Scotland want. That is more decisions taken across the road in


Scotland, but backed up by the strength and security of the UK.


This is a significant day in the campaign. Are people right to think


if they want less of a Tory Government, as you do, they should


vote yes? The last thing they should do is choose a currency union which


would involve no control effectively for Scotland over interest rates,


borrowing and levels of taxation that would be set by a foreign


Government over which we would have no democratic say. The truth is I'm


here in Scotland with two Governments I don't agree. I'm


unyield anything my opposition to the Conservatives, and I


fundamentally disagree with the Scottish nationalists. It is in the


character of a democracy that you don't always get the Government you


vote for. But a youngster voting for the first time on September 18th


will have lived three-quarters of her life under a UK Labour


Government. Some how the nationalist Government that you never get the


Government you want. The only circumstances in which you always


get the Government you want is a one-party state. I don't think


anybody is recommending that. Is it going to plan for you, is it going


on track? I believe we will win on September 18th, but I don't take it


for granted, we are not complacent. You weren't surprised by the poll at


the weekend? There is a lot of emotion swilling around in Scotland


today. I understand that, it is a decision of the head and heart. But


if people vote yes that is just about emotion? I think that of


course contributes to the fact that you can't walk along the street in


Scotland without people talking about the referendum. People are


making up their minds. The more people know about it and this is


what the yes campaign said, the more they know about it? I don't think


anyone will listen to the interview you conducted a few minutes ago and


say we know much, we don't know Plan B. We don't know how to protect the


National Health Service in Scotland when you are looking at an


additional ?6 billion of cuts, those are the numbers of the Institute of


Fiscal Studies. There are profound uncertainties, my sense is in the


closing days of the campaign the judgments people will make will not


just be national, in Scotland's interest, but also very personal.


And given we saw ?2 billion wiped off Scottish shares today, I think


that will weigh heavily on people as minds. You heard John Curtice who


stands as an independent in this argument, what he was saying is the


more you have pushed the currency issue the more it has rebounded on


the Better Together campaign. People don't trust you when you thrust that


in their face? You don't have to take my word for it, look at the


markets and the judgment in relation to Scottish shares. The fact is that


we do have an exceptionally good deal for Scotland with the prospect


of more powers across the road but with the strengths, stability and


the security of the United Kingdom behind us. Why is it in our


interests to shrink the whole market of Scotland from 64 million


consumers to five million. The blunt truth is none of the Better Together


campaign thought they would be in this position just ten days before


the vote. Do you think it could have been played better, with slightly


less condescension, and slightly more appeal. When people ask why


isn't it already Better Together, what is your response? We are ?1200


per head of population better off in terms of public expenditure each and


every year because we get a good deal from Scotland. Secondly how has


Scotland gone from being one of the poorest parts of the UK to one of


the richest over the last 30 years. We are a prosperous and successful


nation within a larger state of the United Kingdom. Of course I want to


see change, but change is coming. This Government has a mandate of


only eight months left to run. Even tonight we have had two further


opinion polls across the UK showing the prospect of a Labour Government


is very real and immediate. What we have learned today is not just that


change is coming to the institution, but I believe we will see with a


Labour Government the kind of changes that most people here in


Scotland want to see. Thank you very much. It is not quite time for


bitter recriminations but the blame game isn't that far off, Westminster


as a body shrugged off accusations of blind panic today as politicians


from the main parties offered plans of the details that would greet the


news of an independent Scotland. Is it dislike of anything Westminster


that is really driving the yes campaign? Our political editor


reports. 307 years of history but in just ten


days the union could unravel. Since the first opinion poll showing yes


could win it the last 36 hours of panic in Westminster have ensured


that even if it is a no vote Scotland is going to be a very


different place. There has been much fear and trembling in Westminster


today as politicians woke up to the fact that Scotland really could go


it alone. After jockeying behind the scenes it became Gordon Brown, the


former Labour Prime Minister who made a speech this evening, setting


out the timetable for the handover of powers to Scotland. Except many


in Westminster worry that even this won't cut it. That what the people


of Scotland want to hear about, is not some dry process, but talk of


fresh powers. Under Gordon Brown's timetable come Burns Night in


January 2015 there will be new powers for Scotland. But what will


the areas of agreement be? The former Prime Minister announced


today that he thinks Hollyrood should set a far larger chunk of


income tax to Scotland. These are not signed off by all at


Westminster. What could they all endorse? This evening's senior


sources have told me to expect movement on tax, public spending and


welfare. But income tax is the biggy. This is where the parties


currently stand, Scotland-Labour has suggested increase tax varying


powers, MSPs should be able to vary tax by up to 15p, they would be


allowed to restore the 50p rate for top earners, but if they wanted to


cut the 45p rate they would only be able to do so if they cut the basic


rate as well. Quite prescriptive. The Conservatives think there should


be full income tax powers. Making the Scottish Parliament accountable


for 40% of the money it spends. They think a Scottish Parliament could


decide on tax rates and bands. The Lib Dems too would hand a lot of


this over. The Liberal Democrats and Tories are quite close together on


income tax what about Labour. Ed Miliband's hitherto has been


reluctant to add anything on income tax, he's said not to want a race to


the bottom a low tax regime over the boreder in Scotland. But Labour has


been criticised in this campaign for not offering the Scottish people


enough on tax. So they may feel they need to make a bold gesture. One


cabinet minister indicated to me today it could be substantial


amounts of welfare handed over to Scotland. Treasury sources are also


highlighting that much of welfare policy is already devolved to


Northern Ireland. Scottish Labour has suggested housing benefit should


be devolved to Hollyrood, allowing Scotland to get rid of the so called


bedroom tax. The Tories believe other things could go north. On this


it looks like Labour and the Tories are not that far apart. My


understanding is there will be movement. Total panic stations from


the no campaign, they have gone behind in the polls and it is


because they don't have a big idea and they are hoping frankly, that


the people of Scotland are pretty stupid and didn't notice there was


no detail. We have seen no joint plan from the no parties, they have


been asked for it, where is their Plan A, and all we have is a


timetable, we have a long memory, we know being told to vote no for a


stronger parliament and we got 18 years of Margaret Thatcher. No thank


you. I want a Scotland that will govern itself, and I'm voting yes


and a lot of other people are. If there was a serious handover of


power north of the border there will have to be significant shifts down


south. One senior Conservative told me that the sight of separatist


Scottish MPs voting on issues that only affect the English would drive


UKIP wild. David Cameron, they said, will have to act. Senior figures in


Westminster are right now negotiating on a new powers. Trying


to find agreement in the months ahead of a general election usually


characterised by bitter disagreement. Not easy.


That was Here in Edinburgh is great place to talk about what those new


powers that the parliament, the Government could have. Lindsay


McIntosh is the Scottish political editor of the Times, she's here with


us now. And from London Fraser Nelson, the editor of the Spectator,


and is it your sense, Lindsay, that will be enough to sway people if


they come now or will it look like panic stations? I think it is very


important what Gordon Brown has done today, what we saw yesterday from


the Chancellor did look panicked. It allowed Alex Salmond to say, first


they tried to threaten us, then they tried to bribe us. But giving Gordon


Brown control of the situation, he's a man that has respect in Scotland


that perhaps has diminished elsewhere. He's been involved in


this debate for a long time. The speech that he gave tonight is very


similar to speeches he has made in the past. He's not coming to this


anew. And there is trust for him up here that some of the other party


leaders don't have. And you think that can work hand in glove with


what the Chancellor is offering, or are those two going to start seeming


to be offering divergent things? I think for Better Together's sake


what they need do is keep some of the Westminster politicians out of


this, and leave it to the Better Together campaign to hold things


together. As they have actually done reasonably admirably over the last


couple of years, given the diversity of views within that organisation.


Fraser, an interesting turn of events when Gordon Brown is getting


the praise now for bringing people to the table? Yes it is rather


strange. And of course he's dishing out blame as well, we heard him


saying how he would have done earlier if it wasn't for the beastly


Tories. I do think the unionists have a fundamental problem here.


Alex Salmond wanted originally for there to be questions on the ballot


paper, the status quo, separation and more powers for Scottish


politicians. David Cameron ruled it out, quite rightly. But now he's


saying he wants to put it back in, right at the last few days of the


campaign. So I'm really not sure this will be credible and nor am I


sure that the promise of control over housing benefit is going to


sway that many voters in Scotland. The time for doing this was six


months ago. That is when you could have advanced a devo max option as


it is called, and during that time there was more support for that an


independence. That has changed now. That ship has sailed. I can't quite


see that the tactical logic behind doing what they are doing now. There


was a tacit criticism, if you think this ship has sailed, that the


Tories weren't on board earlier, from Douglas Alexander when I spoke


to him a few moments ago, he said Gordon Brown wanted to get this


stuff out months ago? He did, the Tories were right to reject it then.


I'm not quite sure what they think will change by doing this now. If


you look at what has happened in the last two weeks, about 95% of Tories


in Scotland will vote no. It is the Labour camp who are defecting to the


yes campaign and so they are bringing in Gordon Brown and saying


look speak Labour language to them and see if you can bring them over.


It is an understandable gambit, but I don't think it is about this now.


It is not about adding a couple of constitutional levers up to Scottish


politician, it is about making an emotional case for the union. That


is what they should be doing in the last few days of this campaign. It


seems as if the unionists just seem unwilling in principle to talk about


Britain and the love of it in the same way that the nationalists talk


about Scotland. I mean there is plenty of passion for the union. I


think they have to do both. I would agree with Fraser there. The


constitutional settlement has to be dealt with. We need to talk about


more powers, fine. We need to do that on the one hand, but on the


other hand, the unionists need to make a positive case for remaining


within the UK. And that would be my main criticism of what they have


done so far. This then obviously opens the door to, as car win Jones


was tweeting to Wales and Northern Ireland, and then talking about more


devolved powers for everyone? Which is why they didn't want to have this


argument to start with. It is a separate issue as opposed to


Scottish independent. Scottish independence is a binary selle the,


and along the lines of devolution is a separate question. If you are in


the no camp or the Better Together camp you say no to independence and


then you still get these extra devolved powers. Do you think some


people will not want that at all? Yes, there will be quite a few


people who don't think Scotland has benefitted that much from


devolution. And they can't quite see why giving the Scottish politicians


more power will make Scotland better, given the powers they have


got haven't been a wild success in the last 15 years. But those guys


are not represented. They are in a minority, they are not represented.


Right now as we can understand it there are only two options in the


ballots paper, one is for complete separation and the other for a whole


lot more powers to the Scottish Parliament. The status quo option


seems to have been taken off the table.


Thank you both very much indeed. If there are jitters right now in


the Better Together campaign they are being felt tanningably by the


markets as we were discussing earlier. The pound plunged to its


lowest level against the dollar for ten months as the first poll emerged


that Scotland was are the to go it alone. The strongest card the Better


Together has played in its insistence threat is Scotland could


no longer keep the pound. Would it prove to be a bullying argument or a


persuasive one. Duncan Weldon, our economics correspondent is in the


City of London for us. Talk us through what happened today? Behind


me is the City, they have had dramatic day with huge moves.


Starting with the one you mentioned, the currency. Today the pound lost


1% of value against the US dollar and down a per cent against the


euro. 1% may not sound like a big move, but for a major international


currency that is a big move. It wasn't just the currency market that


saw the turbulence, the shares of big companies that sell to Scotland,


Lloyd's of Scotland, Babcot, they were down heavily as well. When I


talked to Stuart Hosier from the SNP, he said it wasn't a cram matk


move and happening grabbed -- dramatically, and happening


gradually, he blamed the Better Together for refusing to allow the


currency union? Well I think the thing is, this is definitely being


driven by uncertainty. There are so many unanswered questions, all very


important to the British and Scottish economies, what currency


will they use, what will happen with the debt. Doesn't exit make the rest


of the UK more likely to exit the EU. What happens to oil revenue, how


does it affect UK exports. These are all really big questions to which we


don't have answers. If there is one thing the markets don't like is


uncertainty, today we have a lot of uncertainty.


More tomorrow. More in the next few weeks, where do you think this is


going, briefly? Very briefly I think the next ten days are going to be


volatile. The markets, people over there will be watching all the polls


very closely. If we get a no vote the feeling of the people I have


been speaking to is you will quickly see Scottish share prices come up


and more value back in sterling. If we get a yes vote all the unanswered


questions become a lot more real. Both sides are currently working on


the assumption you have 18 months to sort it out after a yes vote. I


think there will be an awful lot of market pressure to get an answer


much quicker er, if we get a yes vote.


What about those the other side of the border in this debate, the


voices that don't get a vote, but may feel passionately about the


question that is being asked. A year ago we hosted a debate on the union


bridge that straddles the Tweed. It was a moment the yes campaign


emerged as winners. We returned to the very spot and sent this report.


Obviously the debate about Scottish independence has mainly focussed on


the people who live behind me in Scotland. But what of the other


participants in this 300-year-old marriage. What does it mean for the


people who live over there? For nearly 200 years the union bridge


over the River Tweed has witnessed a changed world and the UK. A year ago


it was the site of Newsnight's live debate on the future of Scotland. It


has, shall we say, had much water under the bridge since then. For the


entirety of the referendum campaign there has been an assumption this


side of the Scottish border that voters here don't really need to


worry too much about what's going on over there. Afterall, the poll


suggests that independence was going to be comfortably defeated. Now


though some polls suggest a different picture. So what are


voters over here thinking now? Barry and Nantesy Smith are on holiday


here from Staffordshire. The changing polls worry them. We go on


holiday to Scotland regularly, this is the third or fourth time in the


last three or four years, we love going north of the border. But it


doesn't feel like we are going abroad. Maybe in future it will do.


As an English person I'm proud to be British. I just feel that we are the


British Isles and we're better together, better united together


than going our separate ways, we could be and are stronger together.


The boreder between England and Scotland has many reminders of


centuries of conflict. On the Berwick ramparts, build to protect


the town from attacking Scots I get Phil Johnson, he's the editor of two


newspapers, the Berwickshire News for Scottish reader and the Berwick


Advertiser for English readers. Many identify themselves with the town


rather than Scottish or English. If there was an international border of


course things would change, but perhaps not culturally. There would


still be cross-border links remaining the same. A lot might


depend on what Scottish independence looks like. Walking through Berwick


you get the impression of a town that looks in two directions


overlapping cultural identities common.


What would it mean for you as a west Highland terrier do you think?


Anything? Anything in particular? (Barks) if Scotland were another


country, a separate foreign country, different state, would that bother


you? They just do what they want to do any way. There is a Scottish


souvenir shop in England. English and Scottish tourists it seems have


different tastes. You have to do different orders because the


Scottish people generally, even though they are coming to England


won't take anything with an English flag. Really, some of them will, but


a lot of them won't touch anything with an English flag. English people


even though not quite in Scotland yet are happy to take the Scottish


flag. That is really interesting? Just some people just won't touch


anything with an English flag. The town behind me has changed hands


between England and Scotland 13-times over the course of its


history. Talking to people today about the prospect of further


constitutional upheaval, the emotions I have most encountered are


uncertainty about the future and sadness. This union chain bridge


spans Britain's life as great power. Opened just five years after the


Battle of Waterloo, it stood during the golden age of Britishness. It


may begin its next chapter brackets by border posts. The union gone and


the chain broken. The Scottish historian Tom Devine is


here, with Miral Somerset-Webb editor of Money Week who lives in


Edinburgh. We have a passionate unionist from Boston joining us too.


Thank you very much for joining us. Tom if it is a yes next week will


you be happy? Mixed feelings obviously. I have come out in


support of the yes campaign, reluctantly if you will. But I'm


conscious of the fact that would only be the


conscious of the fact that would process. First of all there would be


the post-referendum discussion, the management of the process. And then


you know given the long sent trees of connection there will then be


challenges, major challenges ahead for the, if you like the new


Scottish nation. And of course there is also the sense of leaving a very


good and old friend, in one way. But I hope that what's referred to as


the social union, if you like, the sociocultural union, will in the


long run be strengthened, because one of the reasons I have come to


this conclusion is that the union itself is no longer fit for purpose,


it is a destablising factor within the British Isles. It is interesting


that you say leaving a good and old friend, a lot of people imagining it


as a turning their backs on something they dislike. Let me ask


you, as a Brit, living in Scotland, do you think it would be odd to be


here after a yes vote? Yeah, I think it would be very odd indeed. When I


first moved to Scotland it never occurred to me that there was a


group of people who felt there was intense difference between the


English and Scottish and Britain was divided T would be very strange to


feel one lives on the same island but in a different country. Have you


been treated like that as the you have been living, clearly you have


chosen to make Scotland your home, so you don't feel like you are not


welcome here? Generally not, it is not until very recently that there


has begun to feel a difference between people perceived as English


and people certificate received as Scottish -- perceived as Scottish, I


find it strange and unfortunately. Neal sorry we can't see, do you


believe it is driven by a nationalism or a sense of coming of


age. What do you think is behind this? I think it is driven by a kind


of collective madness from the advantage points of the millions of


Scots who don't live in Scotland. And we vastly outnumber those who


do. This is just astonishing to behold. I live in the United States,


but still feel myself every inch a Scotsman. But this is a bit like


Colorado seeking its independence, or if you want a European version it


is a little bit as if a member of the United Kingdom is opting to


become Slovakia, because that is just how important Scotland will be


in the world if it takes this extraordinary and economically


suicidal step. I think from the advantage point of an economic


historian this is obviously going to be a disastrous move, we are just


seeing how big a disaster it will be. It is worth saying how munda


Chris, ous the Scottish nationalists have been throughout the campaign


talking about the benefits to Scotland, there is no benefits,


Scotland will lose heavily with this divorce, I'm sure Tom must feel that


and why he feels regret about what is happening. This will be, make no


mistake a disaster, the sad thing is we have made the case so negatively


when there is clearly a positive case to be made for the United


Kingdom. As Fraser Nelson said earlier in the programme. The last


statement made I can agree with. If this happens in the yes sense, then


later historians will to a large extent I think blame the no campaign


for its inadequacies, and blame Cameron for not agreeing to a


three-part referendum. If you go back to Neal Ferguson, I hope that


he won't mind me reminding him as a Scottish expatriot that he was the


author of the famous press statement a number of years ago calling my


country the Belarus of the west. And saying that it should be wound up.


That is exactly what... Hold on a second. That is exactly what you


will be voting for. I know that Harvard is place of civilised gent


tillity, and I know you will allow me to speak. What I'm saying to you


is this, once argued that there was, that this nation was inadequate and


that in fact its assets should be offloaded and be recalled north


Britain, I don't think you can speak impartially given that background


which I know you can't indicate you didn't say it. You can't talk


impartially about this. If I may I'm being entirely impartial, if I may


answer, that I'm being entirely impartial, you are voting to become


Belarus, this won't turn Scotland into some fancy Scandinavian place,


it will be an impoverished back water. I admire some of your


writings, not all. But what you have just said is blatant nonsense. Let


me bring you in. You get a real sense of the passions that are


clearly going to be toe foremost right now -- to be at the foremost


right now. Is that civil campaign, have you felt intimidated one way or


another? If you spend too much time on Twitter you almost feel


uncivilised and threatened. Generally a civilised debate. At


each end you get people who get very angry about things. Because you have


extremists at either end of the debate it has made people feel there


is something of a difference between the Scottish and everybody else.


When there genuinely isn't. If you look at all the survey, the social


attitude surveys for Britons and Scotland, you find that the


attitudes of the Scottish and British on almost everything are


verging on identical, there is no difference between us culturally and


socially it is exaggerated by the campaigns. This is extraordinary,


there are major differences in political culture and voting


patterns between the two countries, and there have been since the 1980s.


This is in no way an anti-English campaign, the Scots applauded the


English team when they entered the arena at Celtic park at the


beginning of the Commonwealth Games, this is an issue with governance and


self-determination. I said what it was doing was exaggerating


differences between peoples that don't exist which is a very


different thing. There are a couple of key points there, do you think


that relations between the Scots and, if you like, the English would


improve after this, do you think there is a chance, or do you think


this is the start of a much bigger sense of federalism for the whole of


the UK now? That's an easy question to answer historically, because when


Scotland was an independent state its relations with England were


extremely bad. As your earlier report mentioned the border between


the two countries was more or less a permanent warzone, I won't say that


will happen any time stone. The acrimony will only get worse, when


we get down to the nitty gritty, if there is a yes vote of who exactly


will bear the burden of the national debt and where the oil revenues will


go. This will get much uglier than it is. The idea that Tom says we


will some how get on better after a divorced suggests he has never been


through a divorce. Thank you all very much indeed. Now just before we


go we can show you the front page of tomorrow's Times. This is a TNS poll


and excluding the "don't noes" those figures rest at exactly 50% for the


yes campaign, 50% clearly for the Better Together. That does not


include the "don't knows" but that is the poll leading the Times


tomorrow, a TNS poll which tells you at the moment it is too close to


call. That is it from all of us from here, from Edinburgh tonight there


are nine days left until polling day, thank you for joining us, good


night from all of us here. Good evening, it will be chilly in


the morning with a few patches of mist and fog, the fog should lift


pretty quickly through the morning and then we are into a decent day


with light


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