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  1. William Hague and Harriet Harman take the key roles at Prime Minister's Questions
  2. The entire session was dominated by next week's Scottish referendum
  3. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg missed the session, to campaign in Scotland
  4. See all the key clips and session in full by choosing he Key Video tab on this page

Live Reporting

By Brian Wheeler and Alex Hunt

All times stated are UK

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Until next time

That brings our coverage of Prime Minister's Questions to a close. It was a far more sober session than we might have expected - none of the knockabout humour we have seen in the past between Hague and Harman. It was dominated by the issue of Scottish independence. On which MPs - except a lone SNP voice - were unanimous. Scotland must stay in the UK. The next time MPs meet for PMQs - after the party conference season - the UK could be no more. It all depends on what happens next Thursday. You can follow every twist and turn as

Scotland Decides on the BBC website, TV and radio.

No contingency?

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

What would happen after a Yes vote is "uncharted territory", says Emma Reynolds. Would the current Westminster Parliament have to carry on until 2016? Reynolds thinks not - because a six year term would be out of the question - but nobody seems to know. The BBC's deputy political editor James Landale says the remarkable thing is that the UK government has no contingency plan for a Yes vote.

Daily Politics review

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

Let's not play the "blame game" before the votes have been cast, says Labour's Emma Reynolds, there is everything still to play for. Her comments came after Andrew Neil suggested Labour had failed to stop its supporters heading into the Yes camp.

Swift exit

Not sure whether they ever have a fire drill in the Commons, but given the speed at which MPs leave the chamber after PMQs it probably won't cause a problem...

Compare the scene at the end of Prime Minister's Questions:

The House of Commons

With the scene just 45 seconds later:

The House of Commons

Will Cameron quit?

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

Will David Cameron have to step down if Scotland votes Yes next week? There are certainly Tory MPs who would want that but, on balance, he is likely to remain, argues the BBC's Deputy Political Editor James Landale.

Last minute plan to skip PMQs

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

David Cameron's plan to head to Scotland to make the case for the Union was hatched at the last minute, BBC Deputy Political Editor James Landale tells the Daily Politics. Presenter Andrew Neil says Mr Cameron was reportedly close to tears as he neared the end of his speech in Edinburgh.

That's that

And that brings a remarkably consensual Prime Minister's Questions to a close. Westminster, as might be expected given that all the largest parties oppose a Scottish Yes vote, has spoken with one voice today to urge Scots to stay in the UK.

Iraq Inquiry

The Chilcot inquiry now - when will it be published, asks Conservative David Amess. This was the inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War. It's been going on for years now (there was a time there were fears it might impact on the 2010 general election campaign... now it seems unlikely to be completed before the 2015 one). Mr Hague does not give a date.


Labour MP Jim Sheridan accuses the SNP of using "fear and intimidation". Mr Hague agrees with him.

Scottish debate

The DUP's William McCrea speaks up for the Union. We have now heard from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, says Mr Hague, and the message to Scottish voters is clear. He does not mention the SNP, but Pete Wishart struck a consensual note with his question. The Scottish nationalist case has not been made at all in this PMQs.


Welsh Tory Glyn Davies asks about the impact of Scottish independence on Wales. Mr Hague gets a laugh as he tells MPs: "I regularly consult with at least one Welsh citizen" (a reference to his wife Ffion) and her view is that the Union must be preserved.

Green MP holds up poster

Caroline Lucas
Here's the poster that Caroline Lucas held up which caused her to be ticked off by Speaker Bercow. His message was that for the greater good, no-one should be holding up such visual aids.

Economic union

The Tory whips have clearly decided to push the economic case for Union. Tory MPs are lining up to ask Mr Hague about that aspect of the debate.

Bercow tackles Lucas

Green MP Caroline Lucas is slapped down by Speaker John Bercow for holding up a placard, as she asks a question about the UN climate summit. Ms Lucas is famed for her use of visual aids but she has overstepped the mark this time, warns Mr Bercow. What if every MP did that, he said?

What a difference a week makes

Last week the situation in Iraq and Syria was dominating the political agenda. This week it's hardly been mentioned, with Scotland dominating the session. There is, though a full Commons debate this afternoon on the Middle East - and Ukraine - which you can follow live on

BBC Democracy Live or
BBC Parliament.


A question about Qatar is followed by more Scotland - and a chance for Mr Hague to repeat his message to Scottish voters.

Worldwide admiration

Conservative MP Gareth Johnson brings it back to Scotland again. Mr Hague says other nations regard the UK with admiration... if Scotland voted Yes those who shared the UK's values would be disappointed.

Prince Harry

Tory MP Caroline Spelman pays tribute to Prince Harry for his involvement in the Invictus Games. Mr Hague heartily concurs.

Prince Harry
Getty Images

Back to normal

William Hague is listing NHS statistics - this is turning into a very run of the mill Prime Minister's Questions. Which is in no doubt part of the plan.

Armed forces

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell brings up the armed forces - William Hague says Scottish independence would put security at risk.

Referendum conduct

The SNP's Pete Wishart steps in now - to pay tribute to the way the people of Scotland have conducted the debate. Mr Hague agrees, but says he will not congratulate the SNP for failing to be straight about the economy, the currency and many other issues.

A wider shot

William Hague

Scottish trade

After a brief break for other issues, Conservative Henry Smith brings it back to Scotland. Two thirds of Scottish trade is with the rest of the United Kingdom, says Mr Hague. "Why would anyone choose to place an international border where those exports are going?"

Happy families

We must stay as family and not become foreigners, says Harriet Harman. Now it's Hague's turn - the Union is the best possible solution for the future. Never has there been more agreement at Prime Minister's Questions. The last thing either of these two wants to do is distract Scottish voters from their party leaders' campaigning activities in Scotland.

'Most important choice ever'

They are both singing from the same hymn sheet here. "This is not an opinion poll where you can change your mind the next day," warns Mr Hague. Scots should weigh the decision heavily and remember that it will be the most important choice they will ever make.

Social justice?

Harriet Harman asks about social justice in the context of the referendum. Mr Hague says "tearing apart" a union so valuable would be a "tragic" mistake.

Legislation timetable

Harriet Harman asks about the details of legislation to give the Scottish Parliament more powers if Scotland votes No. Mr Hague sets out the timetable for new powers. MPs listen in virtual silence to this outbreak of cross-party harmony. The UK is a "living, breathing union and that is its greatest strength of all". That gets a chorus of approval.

Scotland questions

Labour's Harriet Harman goes in on Scotland, echoing Mr Hague's call for Scots to stay in the UK.


John Redwood is the first to bring up the Scottish referendum, asking: "Who speaks for England?". Mr Hague, looking supremely relaxed at the despatch box, jokes about being a Yorkshireman, saying that as such he is always happy to speak for a much bigger geographical area.

Harman in action

Harriet Harman

Bedroom tax

Mr Hague pays tribute to Jim Dobbin, a sentiment echoed by Labour's Sharon Hodgson, who then calls on the government to scrap the "bedroom tax". Mr Hague says that would cost taxpayers £1bn and would not be fair.

Hague in action

William Hague

'Stay with us'

William Hague starts with a message to the Scottish people: "We want you to stay in the UK."

And we're off.

Almost time

The Commons chamber is filling up, as Francis Maude answers Cabinet Office questions, ahead of the main event. But the green benches are far from full. That may be because many MPs are campaigning in Scotland.

English devolution?

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

English devolution has shot up the agenda during the Scottish independence debate. Labour's Emma Reynolds tells the Daily Politics devolving more power to English local authorities makes more sense than setting up an English Parliament.

Hague's last PMQs?

Could this be William Hague's final appearance at the despatch box at Prime Minister's Questions? The former foreign secretary is standing down at next year's general election. Mr Hague is a master of Parliamentary wit and MPs will be hoping for a few good jokes at today's session. Harriet Harman normally has a few lines of her own ready. Often involving baseball caps. It could be fun....

'Country before party'

David Cameron has just told an audience in Edinburgh that he would be "heartbroken" if Scotland left the UK. The prime minister resisted claims it might help the Conservatives to stay in power at Westminster, saying: " I love my country more than I love my party".

'Panic measure'

Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

The SNP's deputy leader at Westminster Stewart Hosie says "nobody is buying" the beefed-up offer of more powers for the Scottish Parliament if there is a No vote next Thursday. It is a "last ditch, panic measure", he tells the BBC's Daily Politics.

By-election bonanza

Another pre-PMQs talking point has been the announcement of the by-election sparked by the death of Labour MP Jim Dobbin. This will be held on Thursday, 9 October - the same day voters go to the polls in Clacton, Essex, following Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP from the Conservatives. At the 2010 general election, Mr Dobbin won the Greater Manchester seat with a majority of 5,971.