Conservative MSP says the UK is 'greater than the sum of the parts'

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The Scottish Conservative Party's constitutional spokeswoman Annabel Goldie said the UK was "greater than the sum of the parts" as she led a debate entitled Scotland's Future on 30 April 2014.

A referendum on Scotland's future takes place on 18 September with voters being asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country?".

Ms Goldie said: "I want to proudly and passionately proclaim the merits, opportunities and advantages which that unique partnership of the UK offers to the family of nations in it."

She went on to say: "It is a vibrant, dynamic and vivid example of being together and working together with all our national diversity, which creates a richly woven United Kingdom that is greater than the sum of the parts."

Ms Goldie argued that Scotland should not become independent as it would have greater international influence and standing as part of the United Kingdom.

She also argued remaining part of the UK would ensure stronger economic foundations, the continued use of sterling as the currency and remaining part of the European Union without the need to negotiate membership as a new state.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon countered Ms Goldie's assertions by arguing that "the Tories are the living embodiment of the democratic case for Scotland being an independent country".

Ms Sturgeon said: "For half of the time since 1945 we've been governed by Westminster administrations with no democratic mandate in Scotland."

This, she said, was a "democratic outrage".

Ms Sturgeon argued Scotland was a wealthy nation and independence would offer the opportunity to make the most its natural resources and build a "more equal and socially just society".

Scottish Green Party co-ordinator Patrick Harvie said the tone of the Conservative debate showed they were increasingly "rattled that the people of Scotland are ready to vote yes".

Scottish Labour's constitutional spokesman Drew Smith MSP expressed concern about the continued uncertainty over the currency of an independent Scotland which he claimed was a failure of the Scottish government to respond to the real concerns of the Scottish people.

Willie Rennie the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: "I believe we take so much of the UK for granted" adding the SNP plans would put an end to the strengths of the union.

We apologise for the loss of video and audio briefly at the end of this video, due to technical difficulties.

The later stages of the debate can be viewed below:

Scotland's future: Scottish Conservatives debate 2

Scotland's future: Scottish Conservatives debate 3

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