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


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    Surely 'one nation' tories should be putting party politics aside and sticking up for the union? Please tories stop Cameron paying lip service to this important issue and join with Labour/Lib Dems to try to stop this for the sake of our great union.

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    I don't think anyone is in disagreement about the economics of Scottish Independence. Scotland can afford it.

    The most important thing is to provide a real future for the 5 million people in this country, not be at the rear-end of Westminster policy designed to suit the south east.

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    Great to see the start of the positive campaign for Scottish independence.
    Scotland can and should stand on its own two feet , decide the policies which the country needs and deal with its own problems. I have yet to hear a positive argument for staying in a political union which no longer meets the needs of the Scottish people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    We're going to have our own currency:
    The Stirling

    (To commemorate Bannockburn, Mel Gibson etc)

    Which will be traded 1 to 1 with Sterling on the markets

    Bus conductors and Tube employees in Scotland can refuse to accept Sterling while Bus conductors and tube employees in England can refuse to accept Stirling no change there then...

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    I am happy either way, just make your choice and stick to it.

    What is this comment 'We can continue to share things where that makes sense' - that's not independence? You are either in team GB or independent, ie own government, health service, tax; system, etc.

    'Do or do not. There is no try' Yoda

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    Sorry but if Scotland goes everything north of Watford will have to go also, we will not be left permanently in the clutches of Daz Dave

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    North Sea oil would be a price worth paying to get shut of the whingers north of the border.

  • rate this

    Comment number 512.

    A simple thought for all those belittling the idea of independence: We would be guaranteed never to have another Tory/Lib Dem coalition ever again.

    Sounds good, doesn't it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    # 441.AMcHarg

    ...not as confused as you appear to be my friend. RBS registered head office is is Edinburgh which last time I lloked on a map was in Scotland. The nationality of those on the Board makes not one iota of a difference!

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    If the Scots get a yes vote and want to go let them. They need to stop whinging about the past - North Sea oil, poor treatment from Thatcher etc. They need to move on and realise that their only way to produce an income is tourism - so they would be better off being a bit more welcoming to other UK visitors. I've been a few times and got frozen and soaked-Eden project domes would be a good idea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 509.

    if Scotland gets 2/3 majority in favour of indepence, is the other 1/3 forced to give up their British nationality and become Scottish? who gets to vote? only people born in Scotland, people whos parents/granparents were Scotish? ex pats?how many gov departments are going to have to be duplicated?how much will it cost? we've seen how disunity has nearly ended Europe, is this what Brits/Scots need?

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    I think you'll find that the reason Salmond wants to keep the Scotland in the UK military is because a totally disproportinate number of UK military personnel are Scottish. Without the armed forces unemployment in Scotland would be even higher than it is now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 507.

    To: 426.wobblycogs - Do like your logical comment.
    Scotland is optimist about their finance because they have oil. How many Scottish company plays big role in Scotland itself?

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    Go or stay, thats a matter for the Scots.Be sorry if they choose to turn back the clock. I hope England will get its say too on a stay or go vote. No half way house cherry pick we like this (it can stay) we don't like this (this will go to Edinburgh) Itsshould be in or out. It won't though it will end a dogs breakfast like everything in G'vment. Devolution started this its an unsuprising outcome.

  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    Please stop referring to the people who live in Scotland as "Scots".

    Some of us are English.

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    The fact is that Scotland goes back much further than the United Kingdom.

    The UK was "created" to serve the colonial interests of the English monarchy and against the interest of ordinary people. What was "created" was a Divided Kingdom consisting of a dominant right-wing England ruling the much more left-leaning and progressive Wales and Scotland.

    It's not sustainable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    440. JasonEssex
    GERS methodologies are listed in Annex B to the report, including estimations on non-identifiable expenditure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 502.

    if the Scots want to guarantee full independence all they need to do is allow the English to vote.
    would be nice to be rid of bitter, insular examples from north of the border who bear 300year old grudges and moan constantly about being governed by London. Despite the fact we had a scottish PM and a scottish chancellor wrecking the whole of the UK economy not very long ago.

  • Comment number 501.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    If the Scots want to delude themselves and vote yes, they will become like Ireland, independent of the UK but run by the EU and Germany. Ask them and yourselves, is that better?
    We are British and live in the British Isles


Page 61 of 86


More Scotland politics stories



  • Rescuers lift the police helicopter wreckage from the roof of The Clutha pubOne year on

    Remembering the Clutha helicopter crash

  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

BBC © 2014 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.