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As Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday, we look back at the highlights of campaign rhetoric.
“No one, absolutely no one, will do a better job of running Scotland than the people who live and work in Scotland. On September 18, we have the opportunity of a lifetime.” First Minister Alex Salmond, leader of the Yes campaign, in a TV debate, August 5 2014.
“What sort of message would we send out to the rest of the world, we who pioneered a partnership between nations, if tomorrow we said we’re going to give up on sharing, throw our idea of solidarity into the dust?” Former British prime minister Gordon Brown, Better Together campaign, September 17 2014.
“People can feel it is a bit like a general election, that you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision . . . if you’re fed up with the effing Tories, give them a kick. This is totally different from a general election. This is a decision about not the next five years; it’s a decision about the next century.” David Cameron takes on the Conservative party’s unpopularity in Scotland during a trip to Edinburgh, September 10 2014.
“The increased autonomy promised Scotland by the UK provides most of the benefits of independence and avoids the downside risks . . . Unity with maximum self-determination sends a powerful message to a world torn by identity conflicts that it is possible to respect our differences while living and working together.” Bill Clinton, former US president, in a statement released through the Better Together campaign, September 17 2014.
“All division worries me. The secession of a nation without a history of forced unity has to be handled with tweezers and analysed case by case.” Pope Francis, La Vanguardia newspaper, June 13 2014.
“The SNP are asking for a divorce but want to keep the joint bank account – and Plan B is to do a runner.” Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour leader, criticising the Scottish National Party’s White Paper on Scottish independence, November 26 2013.
“Let’s leave the people of Scotland to make the determination. If I need to operate in 39 countries rather than 38, that’s what we’ll do”. Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, on Channel 4 News, January 29 2014, quoted on yesscotland.net.
“You only have to look across the continent to look at what happens if you don’t have those components in place. A currency union is incompatible with sovereignty.” Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, addressing the Trades Union Congress conference in Liverpool, September 9 2014.
“A Yes vote for Scottish independence on Thursday would go down in history as a political and economic mistake as large as Winston Churchill’s decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard or the failure of the Federal Reserve to provide sufficient liquidity to the US banking system, which we now know brought on the Great Depression in the US.” Deutsche Bank chief economist, David Folkerts-Landau, September 13 2014.
“No difference at all. Scotch has been around for hundreds of years; it has seen all kinds of political changes. We’ll weather anything. Our decision to invest is based on the economics that we think the category will continue to enjoy.” Paul Welsh, chief executive of the British alcoholic beverage company, Diageo PLC, in The Scotsman, August 2012 explaining Scottish independence would not affect the investment decisions of his company.