Referendum countdown: Last-gasp rallying call to voters

Campaigners are making a final push for votesCampaigners are making a final push for votes
Campaigners are making a final push for votes
Leading figures from both sides of the independence debate have made a rallying call to voters as the final day of campaigning takes place.

Former chancellor Alistair Darling, who is leading the campaign to keep the UK together, said: “We are on the eve of the most momentous decision that Scotland will ever take.

“We will decide our country’s future . It’s that important.”

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Meanwhile, Dennis Canavan, chairman of the pro-independence Yes Scotland, urged voters to “go for it” in tomorrow’s referendum.

The former Labour MP told the crowd that independence would create a more prosperous and fairer Scotland.

Mr Canavan added: “When we succeed in getting that message across to the people of Scotland, we shall win that famous and historic victory.”

He addressed a rally of activists in Glasgow city centre that was also attended by famous Yes supporters, including Line of Duty actor Martin Compston and Deacon Blue singer Ricky Ross.

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Mr Darling, chairman of the Better Together campaign, warned that the “risks of separation are very, very clear” as he addressed a rival rally in Glasgow.

He said: “When we go to the polls tomorrow we are not voting for a one-term government, we are voting for Scotland’s future forever, it is that important.

“If we vote to leave, there is no going back.”

“If you have such a momentous decision to take you need to have certainty, but what is very clear at the end of this long campaign from the nationalist side is there is no certainty at all.

“For anyone in Scotland who has any doubt, be in no doubt you have to say No.”

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He insisted that the offer of more powers from the three Westminster parties was a better option than the “years of wrangling and uncertainty” that would follow a Yes vote.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, who has been pivotal in the pro-UK parties’ fast-tracked timetable for new powers, said No campaigners were proud of their “ patriotic vision, proud of our Scottish identity” as well as being “proud of the Scottish Parliament that we, not the nationalist party, created”.

He went on to say they were “proud also that we are increasing the powers of that parliament”, adding that what they are offering is “faster, safer, better, friendlier change than ever the nationalists could have proposed”.

The Labour MP said of tomorrow’s referendum: “ The silent majority will be silent no more.”

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He claimed the only vision of the SNP was to “break every single constitutional and political link with our neighbours and friends in the United Kingdom”.

But Mr Brown insisted: “We will not have this.”

He continued: “The vote tomorrow is not about whether Scotland is a nation - we are, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“It’s not about whether there is a Scottish Parliament - we have it.

“It’s not about whether there are increased powers, we are all agreed to increase the powers.

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“The vote tomorrow is whether you want to break and sever every link, and I say let’s keep our UK pensions, let’s keep our UK pound, let’s keep our UK passports, let’s keep our UK welfare state.”

He added that the UK had fought and won wars together, had “built the peace together”, as well as establishing the National Health Service and the welfare state together.

“We will build the future together,” he said.

“What we have built together, by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder ever.”

Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the offer of more powers for Holyrood, saying: “The No camp’s panicked scramble to try and bribe the people of Scotland with a last-minute flimsy and meaningless offer is fooling no-one.

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“Despite the fact the ‘vow’ doesn’t guarantee a single power, it has taken less that 24 hours to fall apart - Tory MPs are already up in arms about it. They are desperate to grip on to power over Scotland and - in the event of a No vote - they would not let it go.

“This is absolute proof that the only way to guarantee Scotland gets the full powers we need to create more jobs, protect the NHS and build a fairer Scotland for generations to come is to vote Yes.”

She added: “ With a Yes vote, we will no longer be hamstrung by Tories who want to keep power at Westminster.

“It is an opportunity to build a better Scotland. Scotland is a wealthy country and there is no longer any doubt that we can be a successful independent country. Both the Yes campaign and the No campaign agree on that.

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“With a Yes vote we will be able to ensure that everyone in Scotland is able to benefit from that wealth. With a Yes vote we will be able to secure the job-creating powers we need so that all of our young people have the opportunity to fulfil their careers in Scotland.

“We will have access to the resources we need to deliver more and better childcare for all of Scotland’s families and to secure higher education for all who want it, instead of seeing our resources wasted on nuclear weapons dumped on the Clyde.

“We will be able to protect our NHS from Westminster cuts and privatisation south of the border, and pay a better and fairer pension to our older people.”

She said: “ In recent weeks people across Scotland have woken up to the opportunity of independence.

“With a Yes vote, we can make that opportunity a reality and build a stronger more prosperous Scotland for the generations to come.”