Scottish independence: One million Scots urged to sign 'yes' declaration

 

Supporters launch the 'Yes' campaign for Scottish independence

The "yes" campaign for independence wants one million Scots to sign a declaration of support by the time of the referendum in the autumn of 2014.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said independence would happen if that milestone was achieved.

The pledge was made at the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign in Edinburgh.

However, pro-union supporters believe independence remains largely unpopular among the Scottish electorate and will not happen.

The Scottish National Party played a leading role in the campaign, which was launched at Cineworld in Edinburgh and included other parties, celebrities and businesses.

What does the Yes Declaration say?

"I believe that it is fundamentally better for us all if decisions about Scotland's future are taken by the people who care most about Scotland, that is, by the people of Scotland.

"Being independent means Scotland's future will be in Scotland's hands.

"There is no doubt that Scotland has great potential. We are blessed with talent, resources and creativity. We have the opportunity to make our nation a better place to live, for this and future generations. We can build a greener, fairer and more prosperous society that is stronger and more successful than it is today.

"I want a Scotland that speaks with her own voice and makes her own unique contribution to the world - a Scotland that stands alongside the other nations on these isles, as an independent nation."

A pro-union campaign is expected to launch later this year.

Mr Salmond said: "We unite behind a declaration of self-evident truth.

"The people who live in Scotland are best placed to make the decisions that affect Scotland.

"We want a Scotland that's greener, that's fairer and more prosperous.

"We realise that the power of an independent Scotland is necessary to achieve these great ends."

Some of the people who pledged their public support for the campaign did so for the first time.

Actor Alan Cumming, who has been based largely in the US, tweeted after the launch that he would "becoming a resident of Scotland again in order to vote in 2014".

Other "yes" backers included:

  • actor Sir Sean Connery
  • former BBC Scotland head of news Blair Jenkins
  • poet Liz Lochead
  • musician Pat Kane
  • actor Brian Cox.

Mr Salmond told the gathered media: "I want Scotland to be independent not because I think we are better than any other country, but because I know we're as good as any other country.

Start Quote

It was left to Liz Lochhead, Scotland's Makar, to recall from one of her finest plays that the Scots national pastime is frequently "nostalgia"”

End Quote

"Like these other nations, our future, our resources, our success should be in our own hands."

The campaign will be built "brick by brick" across communities, he said.

Mr Salmond said that the case would be taken to the people by community activism and "online wizardry".

He added: "By the time we enter the referendum campaign in autumn 2014, our intention is to have one million Scots who have signed the independence for Scotland declaration.

"Friends, if we achieve that, then we shall win an independent Scotland."

Mr Salmond was supported at the launch, which was hosted by Greenock actor Martin Compston, by Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie.

He told the 500-strong gathering: "Greens are not nationalists. In fact, we are probably more comfortable than most parties in acknowledging the range of views that exist in our membership and our voters about the question of independence.

"But I believe, as most of us do, that the range of powers currently still held at Westminster simply make no sense from a Green perspective.

What's known at the moment

SNP position Unionist position

Wants the referendum in the autumn of 2014

Wants the referendum "sooner rather than later"

Backs a "yes/no" ballot but is open minded on including a second "devo max" question

Wants a one question "yes/no" ballot

Wants 16 and 17-year-olds to be able to vote in the referendum

Backs the status quo with 18 and over able to vote

Has agreed to the Electoral Commission overseeing the vote

Wanted the Electoral Commission to oversee the vote

"I certainly look forward to helping develop a clear and compelling case for Scotland to take a bold and radical step and vote Yes to independence in 2014."

SNP ministers, who want to hold a referendum in autumn 2014, have been holding talks with the UK government over the arrangements.

Yes Scotland, which has also won the support of the Scottish Socialist Party, is being billed as the biggest community based campaign in Scotland's history, designed to build a groundswell of support for an independent Scotland.

Meanwhile, former chancellor Alistair Darling, a Scottish Labour MP, pointed to a poll he had commissioned which suggested that 33% of those surveyed agreed that Scotland should become independent with 57% opposed and 10% undecided. The poll by YouGov took the views of 1,000 voters.

After the Yes Scotland launch, Mr Darling told the BBC: "The real problem that the nationalists have got is that their momentum has stalled and we can see from the poll that only one person in three has actually bought their message.

"I believe that people will come to see that we are better and stronger with the UK."

"I think that there are an awful lot of risks in simply walking away from the UK."

Mr Darling has been involved in meetings with Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to take forward the plans for a pro-union campaign which is expected to launch later this year.

 

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 259.

    175.sleepylagoon
    "Westminster government, which has never had Scotland's interests as any kind of priority"
    Many parts of Britain have been treated the same

    A lot of people have a lot of research to do about the history of Britain if they are ever going to make an informed decision on this matter

    We'll start with a simple one the James VI of 'scotland' inherited the 'english' throne

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 258.

    Two years of this is going to drive me and many others bonkers.
    ---

    This should be an editors pick
    I'm voting yes btw

    We'll all be fine after Independence, the biggest benefits of Independence will be for Scotland and the North of England which will benefit from cross border trade

    The Independence Referendum is really a vote about the forced redistribution of wealth from the South East

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 257.

    As a Scottish person currently living in England because Scotland couldn't fulfil my employment needs, whether I agree or disagree is irrelevant.

    I'd just like a vote on the future of my country.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 256.

    The Scots are frustrated as they have been screwed in the past. The English are annoyed as they have no voice whereas the Scots are over represented (Hollyrood and Westminster). Both are correct. Give the English their own parliment and apologise to the Scots for screwing them in the past.
    (It is also a myth that residents North of the border are subsidised by residents in the South.)

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 255.

    Scotland contributes more than its fair share??

    I am sure you cant wait for the burden on the Scottish Health Service and Education that will have to be subsidised through taxation.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 254.

    from the snp government website.............. GERS ............. expenditure £64 billion - income only £45 billion including oil of only 6.4 billion and dropping fast since 1998 ............ How will independence change this?......... http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/03/9525

  • rate this
    -56

    Comment number 253.

    Goodbye UK. England you are just another failing little country now with old population, dwindling birth rate, unprecedendet immigration, pseudo democracy LibLabCon con run by rich oligarchs, unemployable schooleavers, drug addiction, youth crime, flee to the country, overbuilding, head in the sand, no future, flee abroad to where? former giant owning now spineless get out quick UK.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 252.

    Like the sunshine brings out the flowers the independence issue brings out the "Well go on then get, lost ye Scotch gits" remarks from the narrow minded amongst our southern neighbours. Is it any wonder that independence is seen as a viable option when comments one would associate with spoiled children whose erstwhile friend has decided to go home for tea are spouted with such vitriol?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 251.

    139. davser

    Bank of Scotland is now owned by Lloyds Bank. RBS and Clydesdale Bank are Scottish Companies, whose registered offices are in Scotland and I think subject to Scottish Law.

    All three Banks are allowed to issue Scottish Bank Notes.

    These three banks together with Lloyds TSB Scotland form The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers.

    http://www.scotbanks.org.uk/index.php

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 250.

    Usual sentiments from the minority of scots who frequent this site. They should be under no illusion the vast majority of english are wholly indifferent to what scotland do. We can happily live without being blamed for all the Scottish woes aswell as providing public subsidy for the socttish politicians on the gravy train down in westminster..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 249.

    How long is this going to take??!

    Draw up some bits of paper with YES and NO written on them and get people on a day sooner, rather than later, to make their choice. Before millions are spent trying to influence the minds of the people this concerns. Then count up the bits of paper and be done with it. It should take weeks (not years!) if Salmond trusted the public to back him!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 248.

    for gods sake, bring back the british empire & put an and to this sort of nonsense........

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 247.

    @229

    Yep... B&Q have an offer on bricks I believe... Might have enough to fill in the Watford Gap whilst we're at it...

  • rate this
    -15

    Comment number 246.

    If we Scots don't get a referendum soon we may well find that the indigenous Scottish Population will have become so diluted as a result of the very Immigration that Alex Salmond and his cronies so actively promotes that there will be a minority of Scots in Scotland before we even get to vote on it.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 245.

    It should be a clear yes or no referendum, lets clear this matter up once and for all. Independance brings responsibilities so if it goes wrong forget the BoE acting as lender of last resort, Scotland is on its own. It would also need to take with it its share of the deficit and debt.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 244.

    228. "The question of Scottish independence can only be answered by the Scottish people living in Scotland."

    So as a non-Scottish person living in Scotland I don't get a say about whether I will need my passport every time I come back from visiting my relatives in England? A little bit of thought please.....

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 243.

    I live in Scotland and i'm actually quite scared because most of our people are bred in support for independance and will vote yes anyway just because they watched Braveheart the night before. The Uk is small, lets not make it smaller.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 242.

    This is a failure of the politicians - I disagreed with devolution being devisive and feared for a possible break-up then. Yet, it was apparently done to prevent any break-up.

    This is happening because of incompetent unscrupulous politicians in Westminster and an attempt to bypass democracy by not allowing all UK a say. Would 51% be enough for a mandate?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 241.

    @206. Yant_the_atheist

    "Scotland contributes more than it gets or the tories would have us out pretty quickly."

    Looking at some of the Tories policies and attitudes are you certain there isn't a Tory plot to get a "Yes" vote. That, coupled to the changes
    in the boundaries would (sadly) ensure a Tory government in the remainder of the UK for a long long time.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 240.

    It's up to the Scottish people, however I do believe those Scot's living in other parts of the UK should be allowed to vote. I'm English I'll support the Scot's whatever they decide.

 

Page 74 of 86

 

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    07:55: Portraits of people with sight loss

    An exhibition of portraits of blind and partially-sighted people living in Scotland has launched in Edinburgh.

    Its subjects include politicians, cafe managers and authors.

    Photographer Trudy Stade stands in front of her portrait of Jamie MacDonald, who inspired her project

    The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Scotland said that Connecting Visions aims to challenge perceptions of people with sight loss as "passive and dependent."

    Visitors will also be able to try on special spectacles that simulate different sight loss conditions.

    Photographer Trudy Stade was inspired to start the project after watching the comedian Jamie MacDonald, who is blind, perform.

     
  2.  
    Email: newsolinescotland@bbc.co.uk @bbcscotlandnews 07:49: 'Is the feline fit like?'

    New film The Voices has a cat that talks with a Scottish accent. He is voiced by the movie's lead, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds.

    Ryan Reynolds

    The ginger tom called Mr Whiskers is the latest movie character to be portrayed as Scots but played by a non-Scot.

    Find more examples here.

    What others can you think of and how did they do?

     
  3.  
    07:40: Arts festival line-up

    Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival line-up has been unveiled.

    Bella Hardy

    The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli will be among the headliners and award-winning folk singer Bella Hardy will also feature.

    Eighty two acts will perform at 42 venues across the south-west over 10 days at the end of May.

    The event, which is in its 36th year, will also feature performances by the award-winning folk singer Bella Hardy and Scotland's Makar Liz Lochhead.

    Organisers have pledged to showcase world-class music, theatre, comedy and literature in towns, villages and remote rural areas across the region.

     
  4.  
    07:34: Fife Biomass plant opens

    A combined heat and power biomass plant on the site of a Fife-based paper maker is to open later.

    Biomass plant

    Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP will open the RWE's Markinch Biomass plant in Glenrothes.

    It replaces the former 1950s coal and gas-fired power station on the site of Tullis Russell.

    The new facility is already providing all of Tullis Russell's electricity and steam requirements, with excess electricity generation being fed into local networks.

     
  5.  
    07:30: Swanson stunner floors Celtic

    Danny Swanson's stunning strike secured a 1-0 victory for St Johnstone last night to consign Celtic to a first league defeat in nine games and end an 11-game unbeaten run.

    Danny Swanson celebrates what proved to be the winner at Celtic Park

    Swanson's effort moves Tommy Wright's troops back into the top six, while league leaders Celtic remain six points clear of nearest challengers Aberdeen.

     
  6.  
    07:22: Harris hawks concern

    Police are searching for two Harris hawks stolen from a bird of prey centre near Balloch.

    Hawk

    Staff at the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre discovered the break-in on Tuesday morning.

    There is growing concern about the wellbeing of the birds: a four-and-a-half-year-old female called Camay and a two-and-a half-year-old male named Terco.

     
  7.  
    @BBCDouglasF Powered up Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Aggreko temp power supplier, Glasgow/Dumbarton: flat revenue, profit -13% on currency shifts: powered Glasgow Commonwealth Games + FIFA World Cup.

     
  8.  
    @BBCTravelScot Wind caution BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Roads: 40mph speed restriction on the A90 Forth Road Bridge because of the wind.

    Ferries: Disruption to Cal Mac's Barra and South Uist service.

    Coll and Tiree ferries have been cancelled.

    Sound of Harris crossing and Iona on amber alert.

     
  9.  
    07:12: Tune in...

    For the latest analysis on this morning's biggest stories, including developments at Rangers, tune into BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland.

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to the programme here.

     
  10.  
    07:09: Scotland's cricket World Cup hopes dashed

    Kyle Coetzer scored Scotland's first World Cup century but their tournament hopes were ended with a six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in Nelson.

    Scotland can no longer qualify for the knockout stages after losing their fourth match out of four in Pool A.

    Scotland's wicketkeeper Matthew Cross

    Coetzer's 156 was the best World Cup score by an associate nation batsman and helped his team post 318-8 - their highest score against a Test side.

    But Tamim Iqbal (95) led Bangladesh to victory with 11 balls to spare.

    "It's very tough to take," Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said. "We did a lot of things right today but unfortunately we couldn't put the full package together.

    "Unfortunately, we just couldn't create enough chances to get 10 wickets."

    The Scots face the daunting task of taking on Sri Lanka and Australia in their remaining group matches.

     
  11.  
    07:06: Return of the King delayed?

    Dave King has revealed - as dealing in the club's shares were suspended - he will delay becoming Rangers chairman, should he win a shareholder vote.

    It follows the resignation of the club's nominated advisor, WH Ireland, ahead of Friday's extraordinary meeting at the Scottish Championship club.

    Dave King

    South Africa-based King is hoping to oust the present board.

    But his ally, Paul Murray, would become interim chairman until regulators approve his fellow shareholder's role.

    Question marks have been raised about King's involvement following his conviction for tax offences in South Africa.

     
  12.  
    @BBCScotWeather Heavy rain BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    A cloudy day. Rain in the north-west, heavy at times with strong south-westerly winds. Driest & brightest in the north-east. Milder for all at 9C to 12C.

     
  13.  
    07:02: SNP 'could oust Charles Kennedy' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    The SNP could win the safest Labour seat in Scotland at the general election and oust former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, a poll by a Tory peer suggests.

    Polls in eight Scottish constituencies carried out by Lord Ashcroft predict that six could go to the SNP.

    Charles Kennedy

    They include Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath where the former prime minister Gordon Brown is standing down.

    Mr Brown had a majority of 23,000 in the Fife seat at the 2010 election.

    An SNP victory is also predicted in Edinburgh South West, where the former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling, who led the Better Together campaign against independence, is retiring from Westminster.

    Charles Kennedy is predicted to lose to the SNP in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, where he has been the MP since 1983 and is defending a majority of 13,000.

     
  14.  
    07:00: Here we go... Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome to Thursday's edition of Scotland Live.

     

Features

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.