18 March 2014 Last updated at 20:18

As-it-happened: Referendum debate on Thursday, 18 March, 2014

Key Points

  • The latest in a series of BBC Scotland television debates, ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, came from Kirkcaldy, in Fife
  • On the panel: Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, historian Michael Fry and businesswoman Tessa Hartmann
  • On 18 September, voters go to the polls when they will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
  1.  
    20:45:

    Good evening and welcome to coverage of the latest in a series of BBC debates ahead of the 18 September Scottish independence referendum.

     
  2.  
    20:46:

    The programme, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, comes exactly six months ahead of the historic vote and features, on the the panel: Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, historian Michael Fry and businesswoman Tessa Hartmann.

     
  3.  
    20:49:

    The debate is broadcast on BBC Two Scotland at 21:00. Ahead of that, why not relax by watching the Great British Sewing Bee!

     
  4.  
    20:50:

    You can get involved in the debate in several ways. Send your views by texting the word REF and your name to 80295 or email them to newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk and on Twitter by using the hashtag #bbcindyref.

     
  5.  
    20:53:
    Guy Berryman, Adam Smith and Gordon Brown

    Some very famous people have either been born in Kirkcaldy or have spent their formative years there, including economist Adam Smith, former prime minister Gordon Brown and the bass player of Coldplay, Guy Berryman.

     
  6.  
    Craig Miller

    tweets: Finished my exercising and now ready to sit back and enjoy (if possible) this evenings #bbcindyref

     
  7.  
    Ross McCafferty

    tweets: The BBC, for all their liveblogs, have nicked my #bbcindyref hashtag. I want payment (in the form of blog shoutouts and/or biscuits)

     
  8.  
    21:04:

    The first question from the studio audience comes from Cameron Berwick, a graduate, who asks: "Is today's announcement from Scottish Labour too little, too late?"

     
  9.  
  10.  
    21:06:

    John Swinney says it's welcome that Labour has recognised more powers are needed, but it is a "whimper", compared to the new powers suggested by the party's commission on the issue in the interim report.

     
  11.  
    Professor Paul Cairney

    tweets: I'd watch more #indyref debates if they promised to just tell us about linoleum in Kirkcaldy

     
  12.  
    21:06:

    Jackie Baillie says what Labour has brought forward is an "ambitious package".

     
  13.  
    21:08:

    Ms Baillie says it is Labour's ambition to devolve more powers to local communities in Scotland, not just from Westminster to Holyrood.

     
  14.  
    21:09:

    The questioner asks why Labour didn't implement what it suggests when it was in power. Ms Baillie says Labour has been the party of devolution and has been working with the process.

     
  15.  
    21:09:

    Mr Swinney says Scotland will be waiting "forever" to get new powers if Labour has its way.

     
  16.  
    21:12:
    Michael Fry

    Michael Fry says Labour has put forward a "feeble package", while the Conservatives are "drifting" towards more powers, while the Liberal Democrats have set out their federal vision.

     
  17.  

    Scotland should be a independant country vote yes and we can start making our own rules and our own decisions. Scotland won't be any different if we vote no.

     
  18.  
    21:12:

    Tessa Hartmann says more devolved powers in Scotland is the way forward. She says the Scottish Parliament, in its current form, has worked well.

     
  19.  
    Davey Gaga

    tweets: The letter "T" is distinctly absent from this live broadcast. Oh, Kirkcaldy. #bbcindyref

     
  20.  
    Halcro Johnston

    tweets: Does Michael Fry think the Yes parties all agree on everything? Currency, income tax etc etc. #bbcindyref

     
  21.  
    21:15:

    John Swinney says the only way to have entrenched powers for the Scottish Parliament is by having a written constitution under independence.

     
  22.  
    21:15:
    Jackie Baillie

    Jackie Baillie, under questioning from presenter James Cook, insists Labour has not watered down its plans for further devolution.

     
  23.  
    Kenneth Murray

    tweets: You know what this #indyref debate is missing? An official fact checker, tweeting out whether what debaters say is true/false.

     
  24.  
    21:19:

    A member of the audience suggests the SNP is a "dictatorship", John Swinney says the party is "thoroughly democratic".

     
  25.  
    21:20:

    The next question comes from Suzanne Adam, a 16-year-old school pupil, who asks: "With the numerous companies who have voiced that they would leave Scotland if it becomes independent, what job opportunities are going to be available for my age group?"

     
  26.  
    21:20:
  27.  
    Graeme Shield

    tweets: Cracking question from the girl, there. #bbcindyref

     
  28.  
    21:21:

    Tessa Hartmann says businesses have a duty of care to their customers.

     
  29.  
    Anna Hutchison, Edinburgh

    Why didnt Labour give Scotland devolved power in the past ? It is too little to late they are insulting the Scottish peoples intelligence.

     
  30.  

    If 16 and 17 year olds are old enough to make a decision on the future of the country why do the snp believe they need a named guardian?

     
  31.  
    21:22:

    Michael Fry says there's no point in independence unless the economic performance of the country can be improved. He says UK government policy in the last 50 years have failed to do this.

     
  32.  
    David Cassells

    tweets: #bbcindyref really impressed with the quality of audience and chairing of @BBCJamesCook #indyref

     
  33.  
    Bill, Dundee

    If a yes vote in sept where do u go for assistance abroad not a EU country ?

     
  34.  
    21:25:

    Jackie Baillie says businesses are making plans to move. She says she doesn't say that to "frighten" people. She says of the companies: "We ignore them at our peril."

     
  35.  
    21:26:
    John Swinney

    John Swinney says the companies in question have a duty to set out the political issues they face.

     
  36.  
    John Lloyd

    It is clear that the biggest group in Scotland want Federal Government so why can't the three major UK parties come together and offer that?

     
  37.  

    Excellent point about HS2 from the women in the audience. Westminster ignores Scotlands needs

     
  38.  
    21:30:

    John Swinney says monetary policy under independence would be set by the Bank of England under a currency union with the rest of the UK.

     
  39.  
    Chris Musson

    tweets: Beeb debate going well .. Everyone behaving themselves so far and good audience #bbcindyref

     
  40.  
    21:34:

    Jackie Baillie says an independent Scotland would be handing control over currency, interests rates and fiscal policy over to the Bank of England, which she says is "crazy economics".

     
  41.  
    21:36:

    Michael Fry says the best way to create jobs is through a market economy. He says Scotland is burdened by the heavy hand of the state, and needs independence to move away from that.

     
  42.  
    21:36:

    The next questions comes from teacher Sandie Steele, who asks: "Does the panel believe the BBC have been impartial in their coverage of the Scottish referendum?"

     
  43.  
    Alasdair Bremner

    tweets: Woah, bbc bias question. minefield. #bbcindyref

     
  44.  
    21:37:
  45.  
    Robert Piercy

    Monetary policy being set by the bank of England is not independence!!

     
  46.  
    21:38:

    Michael Fry says the BBC has "noble ideals", but "needs to pull its socks up" when it comes to filling those ideals.

     
  47.  
    21:39:

    John Swinney is asked if the BBC is impartial. He says it's not for him to judge that issue.

     
  48.  
    Wings Over Scotland

    tweets: Gosh, thanks to the nice lady in green, but we don't claim to be "impartial" on Wings, just honest and factual. #bbcindyref

     
  49.  
    21:42:

    One audience member who argues Al Jazeera is more impartial than the BBC says Wings Over Scotland is a good example of an impartial blog.

     
  50.  
    21:43:
    Tessa Hartmann

    Tessa Hartmann says the BBC works well.

     
  51.  
    21:44:

    Jackie Baillie says she believes the BBC is impartial and adds that politicians appearing on programmes are "fair game".

     
  52.  
    21:47:

    The next question comes from Mary Turnbull, a bank manager, who asks: "With recent reported falls in North Sea oil revenues and tax receipts would an independent Scotland be overly exposed to volatility in oil revenues?"

     
  53.  
    21:47:
  54.  
    Archie Mitchell, Glenrothes

    How can the SNP say they want fiscal independence when they are willing to accept BofE making the rules? They can't even tell us which currency we will be using. That's a recipe for disaster.

     
  55.  
    Ross Greer

    tweets: If an indy Scotland invests in the everlasting potential of renewable energy, the instability of oil will be irrelevant #bbcindyref

     
  56.  
    Robert, Fife

    Scotland has been used as a glove puppet by westminster for long enough, now is the time to run our own affairs and say goodbye to all these companies who threaten to leave if we say YES

     
  57.  
    21:49:
    Debate panel

    Jackie Baillie says oil is important, but adds that it isn't guaranteed. She says Scotland would need to borrow money to put into an oil fund, because Scotland operates at a deficit.

     
  58.  
    Neil Adam

    tweets: The crowds are getting more volatile & passionate in these indy debates. Shows passion is a key factor in the way people will vote #indyref

     
  59.  
    21:49:

    Michael Fry says an independent Scotland would not be the only country of its kind which operates because of a single resource, such as oil.

     
  60.  
    21:51:

    Tessa Hartmann says an independent Scotland would need oil money to deal with the spending deficit. She adds: "Oil cannot pay for everything".

     
  61.  
    John Vickers

    Do the panel agree that the regions of the uk feed of very small scraps of a boom in london but suffer disproportionally when there is a recession.

     
  62.  
    21:52:

    An audience member says oil is running out, adding: "We're running on fumes".

     
  63.  
    Tavis Reddick

    Oil has contributed to climate change, dangerous pollution, unsustainable economics, repressive dictatorships and wars over resources too. Keep it in under the sea!

     
  64.  
    21:54:

    John Swinney says oil has been funding public services for the last 40 years. He says independence means Scotland's resources can create the best possible economic outlook for the nation.

     
  65.  
    21:55:
    Scottish Parlaiment mace

    The next question is from retired teacher Grant Blair, who asks: "The words engraved on the Scottish mace are wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity. Have our politicians demonstrated these values in the run up to the referendum?"

     
  66.  
    Paul Renwick

    tweets: Can't help feeling that these debates are going round in circles with the same arguments and counter arguments. #bbcindyref

     
  67.  
    21:57:

    John Swinney says the independence debate has not been a credit to Scotland.

     
  68.  
    Leonie Strachan

    tweets: I haven't shouted at my telly this much in ages! #indyref

     
  69.  
    21:58:

    Tessa Hartmann agrees with John Swinney. She says the word "truth" also has to be considered.

     
  70.  
    22:00:

    Jackie Baillie says the independence debate has been "partially poisoned", and has generated more heat than light.

     
  71.  
    22:00:

    Michael Fry says the debate "has lacked something so far".

     
  72.  
    22:01:

    And that's it for tonight's debate. Thanks for joining us, the next programme - in a month's time - is in Orkney. Bye!

     

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