Galashiels firm ProStrakan buys Archimedes Pharma for £230m

ProStrakan chief executive Dr Tom Stratford ProStrakan chief executive Tom Stratford said the acquisition would boost its European operations

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Scottish Borders-based drugs firm ProStrakan has underlined its European growth ambitions by buying cancer pain specialist Archimedes Pharma for £230m.

The Reading company's largest product is a fentanyl nasal spray, which is used in the management of breakthrough cancer pain in patients.

It has operations in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

Archimedes is being sold to ProStrakan by a private company owned by Denmark's Novo Nordisk Foundation.

In 2013 Archimedes recorded revenues of £41m, up by 33% on the previous year.

Galashiels-based ProStrakan, which is a subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Kyowa Hakko Kirin (KHK), said the transaction "significantly" expanded its presence in Europe.

Chief executive Dr Tom Stratford said: "The acquisition of Archimedes represents a rare opportunity to enhance the scale of our successful European operations by adding a strong portfolio of high-value medicines as well as further strengthening our teams in major European markets.

"Since joining KHK three years ago, ProStrakan has grown from strength to strength, culminating in the delivery of a positive profit contribution for the KHK group in 2013.

"The acquisition of Archimedes is a further step in KHK's strategy of becoming a global specialty pharmaceutical company, as it significantly expands its presence in Europe."

In 2013 ProStrakan generated revenues of £155m, a 20% increase on the previous year.

Among its portfolio is an anti-nausea skin patch for cancer patients which is now available in the US and Europe.

'Good news'

The Scottish Lifesciences Association welcomed the acquisition of Archimedes, describing it as "good news for Scotland".

The industry body's chief executive, Scott Johnstone, said: "This is further evidence of Scotland's ability to develop globally successful life sciences businesses and of the growing importance of this vibrant sector to the Scottish economy.

"The track record of Scottish life sciences companies developing and offering innovative products and therapies speaks for itself and we congratulate ProStrakan - and Archimedes - on this deal.'"

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Referendum Live

    22:44: 'Keep the Heid'

    The Daily Record's front page for tomorrow features current First Minister Alex Salmond and Donald Dewar, Scotland's inaugural First Minister.

    Daily Record
    22:35: Your choice

    The Sun newspaper, in its front page tomorrow morning, says to Scots 'Your voice, your choice, your vote'.

    Sun's front page sept 17
    22:31: 'Hiding cuts'

    Responding to Mr Neil's claims, Scottish Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay dismissed the Health Secretary's position as "absolute fantasy".

    He said: "This is more like a crisis document. Alex has been hiding half a billion pounds in cuts - when was he going to tell us about this? I wouldn't trust him to open a box of elastoplast."

    22:30: Your Emails

    John Brown wrote: Undecided voters should watch and learn as Yes supporters display the 'fair and open' society they profess to want by verbally abusing and shouting down anyone whose views they do not want to hear. They have done it time and again in this campaign; from politicians to journalists to anyone else they disagree with. Don't let our country set foot on the slippery slope of nationalism.

    Linda Hall emailed: Does anyone out there really believe that Cameron/Miliband/Clegg, even if they wanted to, are capable of delivering on this absurd pledge for more powers for Scotland post the 18th? Their backbenchers will never ever wear it and it will disappear into the Westminster long grass and life will just return to normal, which is what we get if we vote No.

    22:28: Neil defends NHS record

    Health Secretary Alex Neil has accused former Prime Minister Gordon Brown of "talking mince" about the future of the NHS in Scotland.

    Speaking on Scotland 2014, he also claimed the documents shown to the BBC detailing a £400m funding gap at NHS Scotland had been available from health boards since the budget was passed in February.

    He said: "This is not cost cutting, they are efficiency savings and the difference between north and south of the border is we reinvest the money in the health service."

    22:25: Work to do

    The Sunday Herald political editor Tom Gordon reckons that after the three polls tonight the Yes side "need to convert about 70,000 No voters to win (on 80% turnout)".

    22:24: Barnett formula

    Central to the Scottish independence referendum debate today is the pledge signed by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament in the event of a No vote, and a promise of sharing of resources and preserving the Barnett funding formula.

    The Barnett formula is the method used to determine the distribution of public spending around the UK.

    However, in an interview with BBC Radio 4's World Tonight programme, Lord Barnett, who set up the system in 1978 when he was chief secretary to the Treasury, said it was "grossly unfair" and repeated his call for it be scrapped.

    22:20: 'Wish them well'

    Alex Salmond told David Dimbleby he believes the overwhelming view of people in England if Scotland gained independence would be to "wish them well" whether they agreed with the decision or not.

    22:18: 'Enlightened self-interest'

    Alex Salmond told David Dimbleby in his TV interview he believes negotiations can be positive following a Yes vote.

    "This is the land of Adam Smith and he developed the concept of enlightened self-interest," he said.

    "Smith said that deals were done and struck and people acted economically because of their self-interest which could contribute to mutual self-interest.

    "England is Scotland's largest trading partner and Scotland is England's second largest trading partner after the USA.

    "Therefore it is in self interests of both Scotland and England and the rest of the UK to get on with each other."

    22:12: Three new polls

    Three new polls, by Opinium for the Daily Telegraph, ICM for the Scotsman, and Survation for the Daily Mail suggested the "No" vote held a slender lead going into the final day of campaigning. With undecided voters excluded, all three polls suggested a lead for No of 52% to 48%.

    The full breakdown of the Opinium poll was 49% for No, 45% for Yes and 6% undecided, while the ICM survey was 45% No, 41% Yes and 14% undecided. The Survation poll had Yes 44%, No 48% and Undecided 8%.

    22:10: Bill Clinton backs No vote

    The former US President Bill Clinton has urged Scots to vote No in Thursday's independence referendum.

    In a statement released by the Clinton Foundation, he reveals why he wants Scotland to remain part of the Union.

    He said the proposal to keep the pound as its currency without the support that UK membership provides carries "substantial risks" and adds separation will "require a long complex negotiating process with considerable uncertainty and potential to weaken the Scottish economy".

    Bill Clinton

    He also argues "the increased autonomy promised Scotland by the UK provides most of the benefits of independence and avoids the downside risks".

    He concludes: "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. This is the great challenge of our time. The Scots can show us how to meet it."

    22:03: Scotland decides
    Scotland Decides graphic

    The latest news and analysis ahead of Scotland's vote on independence on 18th September - presented by Sarah Smith in Glasgow. Watch it here.

    21:59: 'Overcome problems'

    Alex Salmond tells David Dimbleby independence is not risk-free.

    "Every country has problems, issues. Every country will make mistakes," he said.

    "I think the difference with independence is it will give us the ability to overcome problems and to correct mistakes."

    21:54: Young voters question politicians

    Humza Yousaf MSP and Danny Alexander MP have been answering the questions of young voters on a variety of issues including the armed forces and unity post-referendum.

    Radio 1 debate
    Danny Alexander
    21:50: 'Last gasp proposals'

    Alex Salmond on the plans for more powers to the Scottish Parliament: "Nothing like home rule, it's nothing like devo-max, it's not even devo-plus.

    "It is actually an insult to the intelligence of the people of Scotland.

    "To re-hash these proposals last gasp in the campaign and hope beyond hope that people'll think it's anything substantial. It is not."

    21:47: 'Working flat out'

    First Minister Alex Salmond tells David Dimbleby: "It is too early for congratulations of any kind, this campaign has got two days to go.

    "We are working flat out, we are still the underdogs in my estimation because Westminster has a huge amount of ability to fling kitchen sinks, half the living room and probably some of the bedroom at us."

    Alex Salmond
    21:42: 'Tides of opinion'

    Gordon Brown on whether this was a last stand against independence: "I don't think so. I think tides of opinion rise and fall. We have had to modernise the United Kingdom and in particular Scotland's role in it for the 21st century.

    "The United Kingdom has an ability to evolve and adapt."

    21:36: Tuition Fees and NHS

    Issues that have been discussed on the Radio 1 debate include tuition fees and the NHS. You can listen now, watch on the BBC News Channel, and take part in the discussion.

    21:35: 'Something irreplaceable'

    Gordon Brown tells David Dimbleby: "If you go independent you throw away something that is irreplaceable."

    gordon borwn
    21:30: 'Change is coming'

    "It takes time for people to get the message that there is change coming, change is definitely coming," former PM Gordon Brown told David Dimbleby.

    "It is a stronger Scottish Parliament that is part of the United Kingdom but we don't lose what we have got."

    21:28: Clash over currency

    On the Radio 1 debate, Humza Yousaf from the Yes camp says: "Common sense will dictate."

    The SNP MSP adds: "It doesn't matter if we have a currency union, we can create jobs, protect the NHS, increase the minimum wage - that is the power I want for your generation."

    But Danny Alexander from Better Together says: "For the rest of the UK, you've got to think a currency union would mean taking a risk on Scotland without having control over policies. The only way to keep the pound is the keep the UK together."

    Read all the latest from the live Radio 1 debate.

    21:23: 'Important links'

    Former PM Gordon Brown on the Scottish people: "They want change but, in the end, I don't think they want to break all the links.

    "I am trying to persuade them that these links remain important to them."

    21:20: Over on Radio 1

    On the Radio 1 independence referendum debate, young voters and politicians are discussing the issue of currency. You can watch it now.

    21:18: 'Successful partnership'

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, speaking on The Dimbleby Interviews on BBC1, has outlined why he believes remaining in the union is the best way forward for Scotland.

    "In every generation we've got to find a way of combining this strong sense of identity that exists in each nation with the desire, I believe the willingness, to share as part of a United Kingdom," he said.

    "No set of countries in the world has managed to do what we have.

    "It is the most successful multi-national partnership in history and that's why I want to keep it but I want to keep it because I know also it has got benefits for each of the nations."


    Former prime minister Gordon Brown is being interviewed by David Dimbleby on Panorama.

    Do you subscribe to the view Scotland can survive and prosper as an independent country?

    gordon brown

    Mr Brown said: "I would hope that under any circumstances, my country, Scotland, would do well. But it would not do as well under an independent Scotland."

    21:04: And another poll

    Opinium/Daily Telegraph poll of more than 1,000 Scots shows "No" ahead with 52% of the vote and 48% for "Yes" with one day to go.

    With the undecideds included, the split was 45% Yes and 49% No and 6% Don't know.

    21:02: New poll

    ICM/Scotsman Indy ref poll indicates:

    No 45%, Yes 41%, with 14% undecided (No leads 52 to 48 without undecideds)

    20:55: Scotland 2014

    Scotland 2014 tweets: We'll be joined by @AlexNeilSNP and @Neil_FindlayMSP on the programme tonight. Join us at 10pm on BBC Two Scotland.

    20:43: Scotland Decides

    David Dimbleby questions two of the key protagonists of the referendum debate at 21:00.

    First Minister Alex Salmond and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown join him on Scotland Decides.

    20:33: Radio 1 Debate

    At 21:00, Radio 1 will host its Big Conversation on the Scottish independence referendum.

    Hosts Edith Bowman and Chris Smith join young voters and Danny Alexander MP from the Better Together campaign and Humza Yousaf MSP from Yes Scotland.

    Radio 1 Independence referendum

    You can watch the debate live and follow it on our special live page.

    20:26: Labour's Welsh pledge

    Labour will address "under-funding" of the Welsh government if it wins next year's general election, First Minister Carwyn Jones has assured AMs.

    The three main UK party leaders have pledged to keep the current funding system for the devolved governments.

    Carwyn Jones

    In a letter in a newspaper they promised to keep the Barnett formula if there is a Scottish no vote this week.

    But Mr Jones said Mr Miliband had "made it clear" he would deal with Wales' funding issue if he wins office.

    20:17: Yes rally

    About 1,500 pro-independence supporters bearing Saltire flags, badges and blue campaign T-shirts are taking part in a rally in the heart of Glasgow.

    Rank-and-file Yes supporters have been using megaphones in George Square to declare "This is our time" and chant "yes, yes, yes, yes".

    Yes in George Square

    Some of the crowd have been singing Flower of Scotland and songs by The Proclaimers.

    It follows a pro-Union rally held in central London on Monday.

    20:06: Penultimate day Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    tweets: Catch the latest on the penultimate day of #indyref campaigning, on the penultimate edition of Referendum Tonight. 11pm @BBCRadioScot 810 MW

    20:04: Big night Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    tweets: .@BBCScotland is getting ready for the big night #bbcindyref #indyref

    BBC HQ
    20:00: Photo-bombed

    Today's referendum round-up is brought you by the words vow, scrum, cupcake and photo-bomb. Read it here.

    19:55: Impact debated Matthew Wall Business reporter, BBC News

    As the polls narrow in the Scottish independence debate, banks, investors and economists have been ramping up their warnings about the potential investment and economic impact a break-up of the United Kingdom could have.

    But some commentators believe that, while all the uncertainty surrounding the details of separation may have negative economic consequences in the short term, an independent Scotland could be financially viable in the longer term.

    Here is a representative selection of recent comments.

    19:41: EU membership questions

    Spain's Europe Minister told the BBC that an independent Scotland would have to wait years to join the European Union. Inigo Mendez de Vigo, also claimed during an interview on Newsnight that a post-Yes Scotland would have to adopt the Euro if it was an EU member.

    Euro V pound image

    The Yes campaign wants to keep sterling, and has insisted that Scotland would be welcomed into the EU after independence. A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: "After a Yes vote, the Scottish government will have discussions with the Westminster government and the EU to agree a smooth transition to full membership on the day Scotland becomes an independent country in March 2016."

    But Scottish Conservative MEP Ian Duncan said: "The Scottish government has to be honest with the people of Scotland and answer this question - why would European Union member states such as Greece or Spain allow an independent Scotland to opt-out of the Euro, when they are obliged to use it as currency?"

    19:27: Salmond on the vote

    Alex Salmond told the BBC's Jackie Bird: "We are not aiming for a majority of one, as the underdogs in this campaign to secure every possible vote to persuade our fellow citizens that this is the opportunity to take Scotland's future into Scotland's hands.

    "In terms of challenges, of course we will have challenges, every country does. The point about independence is having the powers and the ability to overcome these challenges."

    19:23: Salmond on currency

    Mr Salmond repeated that Scotland would use the pound after independence.

    He said: "We think there will be a currency union because the mandate of the Scottish people is going to be for that and, of course, it is in the best interests of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom."

    Mr Salmond added: "We are going to have a common sense agreement on a common currency and the Bank of England will be the shared Central Bank. That's our proposal."

    19:21: Salmond on tax-raising powers

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: "If the No campaign's argument is that we should increase taxes so we can compensate for the Tory cutbacks at Westminster we end up paying for the health service twice.

    "Far better if we are going to cut things, let's cut Trident missiles or the House of Lords or the House of Commons.

    "This underlines the point. To control the health service you have to control the finance and the administration. That's why it is safe in an independent Scotland and under-pressure as long as we remain under Westminster control."

    19:19: Salmond on NHS

    Alex Salmond told Reporting Scotland: "All that money from health service savings is reinvested in the budget, which is why it is increasing in real terms and will continue to do so across this year, next year and the year after in terms of frontline budget."

    19:17: Salmond on health

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond told BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland programme there were no cutbacks to the health service.

    He said: "They are not cutbacks, they are cost-pressures in the health service. What are these cost pressures? The vast majority of them, that's the pensions, the withdrawal of the National Insurance rebate, are money that our health service is going to have to pay for Westminster to the Treasury because of changes they have made in how the health service is funded.

    "So we are going to have to give money to the Westminster exchequer, of course that creates pressures but how much better would it be if we had the finances of the health service in Scottish hands?

    "Let me repeat, there will be no decrease in the health service budget."

    19:14: Darling defends Better Together campaign

    Mr Darling concluded his interview by defending the Better Together campaign, which has seen a comfortable lead in the polls decline in recent weeks.

    He told Reporting Scotland: "Having visited places up and down Scotland, having talked to countless numbers of people, what I do know is people want change. There are two competing visions of change."

    19:09: Unanswered questions

    Mr Darling also hit out at the Yes campaign for the amount of unanswered questions with only two days to go until the vote.

    He said: "There are huge, unquantified risks, unanswered questions. Two days before the referendum, and we still don't know what is going to happen with jobs, with firms moving their headquarters south of the border, who is going to pay pensions, what is going to happen in Europe, what currency we will be using.

    "All those risks are massive risks to families, to people's standards of living, and our ability to fund things like the health service."

    19:03: Darling on getting powers through Westminster

    Mr Darling argued: "People used to say before 1997, before the then Labour government legislated to set up the Scottish Parliament, they said: 'Oh it will never happen, you will never get it through'. Well, we did and since then its powers have been further strengthened. "

    18:59: Choice for voters

    On Reporting Scotland, Mr Darling said: "They (voters) are faced with a choice between having a secure Scottish Parliament which you can set up faster in a more secure way, a better way of proceeding than years of uncertainty that would follow trying to negotiate the break up of the United Kingdom never mind the complications with Europe and so on."

    18:55: Darling on NHS

    He added: "My argument is you can have a strong Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom that secures funding for things like the health service, but if it wants to raise more money to put into the health service it can do so. Either way it has got complete control over the health service."

    18:54: Darling on powers pledge

    The leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling has defended the pledge to offer more devolved powers to Scotland and criticised the SNP on the NHS.

    In an interview on Reporting Scotland, he said: "They (the yes campaign) are bound to have a go at a policy that they know the majority of people in Scotland want. I think most people in Scotland want to have a Scottish parliament with strengthened powers, being able to raise money to put in the health service for example.

    "We know it is an issue that is of key concern to voters in the referendum, especially on a day when we find out the Scottish government is planning on taking £450m out of the health service budget and they weren't going to tell us until after the referendum. We only find out because someone has leaked documents."

    18:49: Glasgow vote

    Tom Gordon from the Sunday Herald told the BBC that the city of Glasgow was crucial to the independence vote.

    He said: "It has long been said that the road to independence runs through Glasgow and that's for a number of reasons.

    "One in nine voters in Scotland lives in this city and there are two other big groups of people - Labour supporters and people who just don't vote, there were five constituencies in Scotland where turnout was below 40% and they were all in Glasgow.

    "So if the Yes campaign can crack Glasgow, if it can convert Labour supporters and motivate non-voters, they are probably on to a winning formula for the rest of Scotland as well."

    18:44: Divided family BBC Radio 5 live

    In the latest from Radio 5 Live, we meet the Nhilzyo family - with mum and son voting No, and dad and daughter voting Yes.

    Meanwhile, 5 Live's Chief Political Correspondent John Pienaar reflects on the influence of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the referendum campaign, explains the Barnett Formula and questions what Trident could look like in a Scotland with more devolved powers.

    18:37: Yes rally

    Yes supporters have turned out for a rally in Glasgow's George Square.

    george square
    18:31: Cameron's English headache James Landale Deputy political editor

    Many Tory MPs that I have spoken to today are angry - angry that the Prime Minster has put the union at risk, angry that he is offering Scotland so much. If Scotland votes Yes, some will demand David Cameron's head. If Scotland votes No, they will demand more powers for the English.

    David Cameron says he is not remotely at the stage of thinking about an English Parliament but some in his party are ready to go into battle for one. The debate about self-determination in Scotland is almost over, in England it has only just begun.

    18:23: 'Ugly' tactics

    Ed Miliband accused the pro-independence campaign of "ugly" tactics after campaigners hurled abuse at him in chaotic scenes during a visit to Edinburgh.

    Mr Miliband told the BBC: "I think we have seen in parts of this campaign an ugly side to it from the Yes campaign.

    "I think debates should be conducted in a civilised way, I think that's very, very important, but I understand that passions run high.

    "What I've enjoyed about this campaign, including today when I get the chance, is meeting people who are genuinely undecided."

    18:15: New powers pledge Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    It is an intriguing element to this last couple of days. On the issue of plausibility, those who support independence say this cannot be guaranteed to go through. They say in the event of a No vote, the atmosphere would change, that there are grumbling Conservatives on the backbenches of Westminster who distrust new powers for Scotland.

    Supporters of this plan say that all of that is trumped by the fact that it is the three big parties at Westminster - Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour - jointly agreeing to put this forward.

    18:12: Newsbeat debate Ben Mundy Newsbeat reporter

    tweets: On air!! @BBCNewsbeat gearing up for #bbcindyref

    17:54: Referendum Tonight

    Referendum Tonight on BBC Radio Scotland is your late night round-up of the day's events from the campaign.

    Andrew Black will be looking back on today's stories, speeches and debates and looking ahead to what we can expect from the final day of campaigning.

    We'll also have perspectives on the debate from Iceland and from Ayrshire.

    Referendum Tonight is on 810 medium wave and on digital radio between 23:00 and midnight.

    17:47: TNS poll

    Over 60% of adults in England and Wales think Scotland should remain part of the union, a new poll has revealed.

    The TNS poll asked 1124 people over the age of 18: "Do you personally think that Scotland should become an independent country?"

    18% said Yes, 63% said No and 19% said Don't Know.

    55% of those who took part in the poll say they care about the outcome of the referendum, while 47% say Scottish independence would have no impact on their lives.

    17:44: 'Bit perturbed' David Porter Westminster correspondent

    There have been a number of Conservative MPs at Westminster who are a little bit perturbed - let's put it no more strongly than that.

    They are a little bit perturbed that they see these extra powers being offered to Scotland when it has not been discussed in the Westminster parliament and they think that not enough consideration has gone into this.

    That said there are some MPs, such as the Labour MP Graham Allen, who has done a great deal of work on looking at constitutional change - in fact he heads a select committee at Westminster which looks at constitutional change.

    When I was speaking to him this afternoon he said he believes that the extra powers which are being offered to Scotland are a very good thing because he thinks it will lead to extra devolution throughout the rest of the United Kingdom.

    17:32: Reinvesting in the NHS

    Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil told the BBC that the reported £400m to £450m in cuts to the Scottish health service was "not being contemplated".

    He said: "What is being contemplated are 3.5% efficiency savings so that we prioritise where we spend the money. So any money saved will be reinvested in the frontline services of the NHS in Scotland.

    "We have been doing that for years. They have been doing it down south but they don't reinvest the money in frontline services. We do."

    17:27: 'Not lying to people'

    The Scottish Government's Health Secretary Alex Neil told BBC News: "We have not been lying to people at all.

    "We are not going to be cutting the NHS budget. We have passed a budget for this year and we have published a budget for next year and both of those show a substantial increase in spending for the NHS.

    "We are under pressure because of the cuts in London, which is why the budget for the NHS should be set in Scotland and not determined as a percentage of the health budget in England."

    17:25: 'Wriggle room' David Porter Westminster correspondent

    There are very few specifics in this pledge but I think it is more important that it is the three leaders signing a pledge which is on the front page of the Daily Record newspaper this morning.

    That gives them very little wriggle room if there is a No vote to try and in any way resile from that in the future.

    17:22: NHS row

    Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie told BBC News: "Just imagine if you woke up on Friday having voted Yes to then be confronted by a substantial package of health service cuts delivered by the SNP."

    She added: "What we are promising, if people vote No on Thursday, is a package of powers that is far safer than risking independence. Within those powers is the power to raise income tax. I am genuinely of the view that guarantees the funding of the NHS."

    17:18: The future of the NHS

    Labour's Jackie Baillie told BBC News: "What we have seen today is the SNP's biggest lie of the entire referendum campaign completely exposed.

    "They make claims that you have to vote Yes on Thursday to protect the NHS yet quietly in secret back-deal rooms across Scotland what we have is the SNP secretly planning £450m-worth of cuts.

    "That's cuts to frontline services. That's emergency services in my local hospital and in hospitals across Scotland."

    17:14: Business for Scotland

    Yes campaigners Business for Scotland say they have reached "a membership milestone".

    The organisation said 500 more people had signed a declaration backing its stance in the past month, bringing the total to more than 3,000.

    Recent signatories, it said, included Airlink founder John McGlynn, EnerMech chief executive Doug Duguid, Aberdeen businessmen Mike Wilson of Epic Group and Allan Porter of the Searoute Group.

    17:07: Tea and talk

    BBC producer Scott Holdaway tweets: Tea and #indyref talk with Esraa at Popeyes in Portobello.

    17:02: Political parties make power play Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    Perhaps it might help if we took a little look at the pledge of more powers set out by the pro Union parties today.

    The one that was trailed last night by Gordon Brown and covered on the telly and the wireless.

    Firstly, it would appear to confirm the prime minister's acknowledgement that any notion of deferring the issue of more powers - conceptually if not yet in agreed detail - has been abandoned.

    No more talk of settling the question of independence then turning to more powers. The pro-Union parties have seemingly concluded that they must be more upfront, now, about their plans.

    Read Brian's full blog here.

    16:59: On the radio

    On BBC Scotland's Newsdrive from 1700 - Reaction to promise by main UK party leaders to devolve more powers to Scotland, if there is a "No" vote

    16:53: More polls

    Scotsman senior reporter Martyn McLaughlin tweets: ICM #indyref poll for The Scotsman will be published at 9pm tonight

    16:48: Miliband scenes

    Severin Carrell of the Guardian tweets: .@Ed_Miliband forced to abandon #Edinburgh shopcentre walk-about in chaotic scenes: media, protesters & Labour crush

    16:44: Miliband in Edinburgh

    Daily Mail political editor James Chapman tweets: "Bow down to Miliband, your imperial master! Yes, yes, yes," Yes crowds cry. Chaos as Lab leader tours Edinburgh shopping centre #indyref

    16:34: Miliband walkabout

    Ed Miliband had to abandon planned media interviews in Edinburgh's St James Shopping Centre when he was surrounded by a "melee of pro and anti independence supporters", according to the BBC's Norman Smith.

    Ed Miliband
    16:29: Weather update

    It looks like voters in the referendum could enjoy a warm walk to the polling stations.

    Keep up to date with the latest weather forecast for Thursday via BBC Weather.

    16:21: Miliband melee Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    There have been chaotic scenes in Edinburgh city centre as the Labour leader Ed Miliband attempted to do a walkabout amongst shoppers.

    Mr Miliband was surrounded by a melee of pro and anti independence supporters as he tried to walk through the St James shopping centre in Edinburgh.

    Planned interviews with the media had to be abandoned amidst the scrum.

    Mr Miliband played down the scenes as he struggled to meet any voters. He eventually had to be escorted out of a rear exit of the shopping centre.

    16:13: Newsdrive latest

    Another hectic day in the referendum campaign across the country.

    Catch the latest updates via Newsdrive on BBC Radio Scotland now.

    16:03: Fair weather voters?

    Could the weather have a role in the referendum outcome? And would bad weather harm or favour one side more than the other? The BBC's Louise Sayers finds out.

  76. 15:53: Referendum - Your Views

    Karl, southern Iraq: I live on Tiree, Inner Hebrides, when not here. We now have a united Iraq, why does Scotland even contemplate breaking its unity with UK, it is mad.

    James, Glasgow: Yes won't be easy, of course it won't, but a bit of change is not scary enough for me to meekly accept all the flaws that we accept if we stay in the UK. We are a broken country, we are not at our best and Westminster is the cause of that, not the solution.

    15:44: The view from Catalonia

    Catalan language newspaper El Punt Avui has called Scotland's referendum process a "universal model".

    In an opinion piece titled "Scotland: An enviable example" the Barcelona-based paper says: "The Scottish process must from now on serve as a universal model to follow by other nations with similar aspirations.

    El Punt Avui

    The article concludes: "No, Catalonia is not the same as Scotland, something which we know and lament, but the objectives are perfectly compatible as is the legitimacy of the aspirations of their respective citizens."

    #bbcindyref 15:27: Your Tweets

    Finlay Harris: I am not a nationalist, I am not a separatist...I just want to be independent and be allowed to make decisions for myself..

    Stewart Forsyth: I think a lot of voters aren't considering the impact a Yes vote will have in 10-20 years time. And that's scary.

    15:19: Markets

    In the latest Daily Question, BBC Scotland's Economics Correspondent Colletta Smith asks how the Scottish independence referendum is affecting the markets.

    15:09: Checkpoint Charlies

    An artist has set up his own "Scottish Border Agency" checkpoint near Jedburgh.

    spoof checkpoint

    Manchester-based Jon Parker Lees and a group of colleagues set up the spoof checkpoint "to try and take some of the anger out of the debate". He said: "We're not making a point for either side. We've staged this together as a group of Scots and English."

    spoof checkpoint
    14:50: Facebook figures

    More than 10 million interactions about the referendum have been logged in a five-week period, according to Facebook.

    The company's figures, covering 1 August to 8 September, suggest the "Yes" campaign has a narrow lead in terms of discussion.


    They cover comments, posts, likes and shares and 85% of them came from Scotland.

    Facebook is introducing a function that allows users to tell friends after they have voted in the referendum.

    14:38: 'Tory bloodbath' over devolution

    The Daily Telegraph reports that Prime Minister David Cameron faces a Tory "bloodbath" over further devolution.

    David Cameron

    The article follows comments from Tory MP Christopher Chope on the BBC's The Week in Westminster in which he said there may be enough Tory MPs to block any additional powers going to the Scottish Parliament following a "No vote".

    SNP MP Angus Robertson said: "The Westminster revolt against any more powers for Scotland is up and running, and exposes the utter deceit at the heart of the No campaign that additional powers would follow a No."

    14:25: CBI urges No vote

    Leaders of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have appealed to voters in Scotland to reject independence.

    The heads of the business lobbying group's regions and nations council network and the organisation's president Sir Mike Rake said staying in the union was the best way to grow the economy.

    The CBI represents 190,000 businesses, which employ about seven million people.

    A leaders' statement said: "We want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom and hope you vote to do so. We believe that the prosperity of all people in the UK would be best-served by Scotland remaining part of it."

    14:13: Beer decision The Press and Journal

    The Press and Journal tweets: Scottish independence: Craft beer drinkers vote 'Yes'.

    14:07: Barnett 'unfair to Wales'

    A pledge by the three Westminster leaders to keep the funding system for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been criticised by Plaid Cymru.

    Welsh flag

    A letter from David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in the Daily Record pledged to retain the Barnett formula in the event of a "No" vote.

    Under the system, Scotland gets more spending per head than the UK average.

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said the formula, determining how public cash is distributed, is unfair to Wales.

    13:56: Impressionist Rory Bremner, who supports a "No" vote,

    tweets: Barnstormer by GB. AS 'can ignore some of the warnings some of the time. But not all of the warnings all of the time'

    13:52: Scottish, British or Hebridean?

    Also visiting Lewis ahead of the Scottish independence vote has been Radio 5 Live's Nicky Campbell.

    Nicky Campbell

    He asked islanders how they feel about their identities and if this would affect their final decisions.

    'Scottish, British or Hebridean?' is available here.

    13:44: Journalist Shaun Milne

    tweets: Beeb currently has its critics but last night's Scotland's Decision by @alittl was top drawer stuff. On @BBCiPlayer

    13:34: Brown's NHS 'own goal'

    Former prime minister Gordon Brown has been accused of "a spectacular own goal" over future funding of the NHS.

    Alex Neil

    Mr Brown said on Monday that new powers for the Scottish parliament in the event of a No vote must guarantee the power to spend more on the NHS if that is the wish of Scottish people.

    Health minister Alex Neil insisted Mr Brown had "inadvertently made the case for independence".

    He said: "If Westminster parties say that there should be an increase in taxes, they must say now which taxes and by how much.

    "We believe it would be far better to protect Scotland's budget before the Tories get the chance to cut it in the first place."

    13:24: Allegra Stratton Political editor, BBC Newsnight

    Have to admit just accepted a Scottish tablet from lady in Yes office, Clydebank. Nanosecond impartiality lapse. Yes ppl are having fun.

  91. 13:15: Get involved

    Dawn and Craig Cameron email: It's already the British AND IRISH Lions. New name may be a little lengthy but at least this is one concept already proven. Never know, we may even get some Scottish players picked next time.

    Julie Ford email: Currently care for older people is free if you live in Scotland, however this is not the case in England (there is a means tested assessed charge), how will this change if there is a YES vote? It is my understanding that the UK government currently subsides this free care?

    12:51: Nuclear 'uncertainty'

    The boss of the energy company which operates Scotland's two nuclear power stations has told staff of continuing uncertainty about what independence would mean for the power sector.

    Vincent de Rivaz

    EDF Energy's chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said the company is not "policy neutral" and it is his responsibility to defend its interests.

    In an email sent to employees across the UK, Mr de Rivaz lists the key questions which will face the company in the event of a Yes vote.

    They include the regulation of the nuclear industry, the future of Britain's single electricity market and who would pay for the eventual decommissioning of the power stations at Hunterston and Torness.

    Energy minister Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government has already set out its position on the issues raised.

    12:40: Odds on favourite?

    "Polling analyst and political gambler" Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB):

    New post. Why Ipsos-MORI's final #IndyRef poll could be the one to watch out for tomorrow night

    12:36: Climate talks The Press and Journal

    The Press and Journal reports: "SNP environment minister Paul Wheelhouse and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie announced yesterday that an independent Scotland will bid to hold the annual UN climate talks.

    "The annual talks bring together world leaders and diplomats with climate experts to help tackle climate change.

    "This year's talks will take place in Lima, Peru, in December."

    12:24: Sturgeon: Yes means jobs

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a Yes vote on Thursday will help Scotland "secure jobs and opportunities for our young people" for years to come.

    nicola sturgeon

    On a visit to Steel Engineering in Renfrew, she said the powers of independence would prevent people having to leave Scotland to find work.

    She said: "If we have our hands on the levers of economic decision-making, if we have access to our own resources, then we are able to design an economic policy to suit our needs.

    "Too many young people in Scotland leave every year. Now, seeing the world is not a bad thing to do. But many people leave because they can't find a job and we need to do something about that."

    12:15: Tackling sport

    Rugby players from Stornoway, on Lewis, have been discussing how an independent Scotland might affect the future of the British Lions team.

    Alex Cuthbert scores

    One said: "Whatever the outcome, we'll all still be friends the next day - hopefully".

    'Is sport more important than politics?' is here.

    12:08: John Beattie BBC Scotland

    On air @BBCRadioScot all the latest on #indyref

    12:04: Sturgeon on 'funding gap'

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has denied that details of a potential £400m NHS funding gap means the health service is at risk under the SNP.

    She said: "This is a discussion document not a decision document. I'm part of a Government that has protected the revenue budgets of the health service and will continue to strive to do that.

    "It's a discussion document written in the context of the status quo, not in the context of independence."

    11:55: Newsbeat

    Tonight's the night! Switch on to @BBCNewsbeat's #bbcindyref debate at 2100 with @edibow & @itschrissmith

    11:47: More Brown

    Gordon Brown adds: "Nobody should be told that they are any less patriotic or proud of their country.

    "I want the best for this country."



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