Scotland's Future debate 1
First Minister Alex Salmond urged Scottish voters to grab the opportunity of independence with "both hands" during a debate on Scotland's future on 18 September 2013.
Speaking in the debate exactly a year before the referendum on Scotland's future, Mr Salmond said people living in the country were best placed to make decisions about it.
The first minister also said independence would address a "democratic deficit" brought about by Westminster governments and parliaments which had brought in policies opposed by Scottish politicians.
He told MSPs: "Independence is about giving ourselves the power to make our country as good as it can be; it's about the right to decide, the ability to make choices.
"And this government's argument - our fundamental, our most important contention - is that the people who live and work in Scotland are the people most likely to make the right choices for Scotland."
He added: "That is why independence is the best route not just to becoming a more prosperous country but to becoming a more just society. And that is why - exactly a year from today - the people of Scotland will claim that opportunity with both hands."
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont attacked the nationalist position that "decisions made about Scotland in Scotland will always be better".
"That is an argument that points not only to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, but to leaving Europe, the United Nations, and Nato too," she said, "if only Scotland can decide that no power to make decisions can rest anywhere else except Scotland, and that is a self-evident nonsense."
Ms Lamont argued that the SNP's belief in independence was not a response to issues such as the banking crisis, foreign wars or a Tory government at Westminster.
She said: "The SNP say they speak for Scottish values, but the values of community, of co-operation, of being a good neighbour, of solidarity, are embodied in the United Kingdom, not repudiated by it."