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  1. Tonight's debate, chaired by James Cook, was the latest in a series from across Scotland in the lead up to September's referendum on independence
  2. The panel, which included the SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, took questions from a live audience in Inverness
  3. On 18 September, voters in Scotland will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Live Reporting

By Marianne Taylor, Aiden James and Jamie Ross

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    And that's the end of our debate coverage. Thanks for being with us. You can find more referendum news, features and background information on the BBC News website and Scotland Decides.

  2. Post update

    The debate ends on a conciliatory note, as Angus Robertson says both campaigns should respect those on the other side.

  3. Post update

    Angus Robertson says the rest of the world is "looking in awe" at Scotland.

  4. Post update

    "No I don't, because I think we've done the right thing to sort out the economic mess in this country," Mr Alexander replies.

  5. Post update

    An audience member asks Danny Alexander if he feels any guilt for going into coalition with the Conservatives at Westminster.

    BBC debate from Inverness
  6. Post update

    Ken Stott says he thinks that "if there is a 'No' vote, there will be another referendum". There are a few groans from the audience at that prospect.

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    Blair McDougall says the debate should not become a "neverendum" like Quebec's independence debate. "We want it settled," he argues.

    The panel
  8. Post update

    Next is a question from Ian Finlayson: Whatever way the vote goes Scotland will be a divided nation. What should be done to pull the country together in the event of either result?

  9. Your views

    Text 80295

    Jimmy Munro: Alexander, Darling and company sound like wee boys in the playground. "If you don't play the game our way we won't speak to you" However, keep it up we're not daft wee boys in Scotland, you're swinging the momentum the YES way.

    Anonymous: The rest of Britain are also unhappy about bedroom tax and food banks. Why do they think it's just Scottish folk are unhappy?

    Margaret, Glasgow: SNP are backing away from the oil question (which they used to parade) because its running down.

  10. Post update

    David Cameron visited Shetland in July, as the UK government announced a new electricity subsidy deal.

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    Blair McDougall says David Cameron publicised his visit and had a photo taken with a Shetland pony. If it was a secret trip, the PM is the "worst James Bond we've ever had".

  12. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Finona: This 'head n heart' thing is a crock. Do the research. I'm voting yes, confidently, with my head AND my heart. #bbcindyref

    Michael S Vigne: Are we really suggesting that Governments can keep oil finds secret when oil companies need to make reassure their shareholders? #BBCIndyref

  13. Post update

    Ken Stott claims the UK government would not give a reason for Prime Minister David Cameron's recent visit to Shetland but adds that if he were in the UK government, he wouldn't announce "we've struck oil on the eve of a referendum".

  14. Post update

    Angus Robertson says he "hasn't seen" reports of a new oil find.

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    Danny Alexander insists: "There is no massive new oil find." He says online rumours are "definitively wrong".

    Danny Alexander
  16. Post update

    The next question is from Deirdre Falconer, who asks: Social media is rife with rumours of massive oil discovery in the Clair field. Can you confirm this and if so what are the implications for the UK and an independent Scotland?

  17. Post update

    Nicky Marr says the choice for her is "a head and heart thing". "I love the idea of independence," she says, "but I just don't know what I'm voting 'Yes' to if I vote 'Yes'."

  18. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Shrew Naldö: Missed the start of the debate but Danny Alexander has been bang on the money since I tuned in #bbcindyref

    John Wilson: And again @dannyalexander Wont answer a question The answer is yes devolved powers can be taken away they have already #indyref #bbcindyref

  19. Post update

    Angus Robertson says if Scots vote No "you have no idea what you're going to get". A "Yes" vote would mean more powers, he says.

  20. Your views

    Text 80295

    Stewart Hendry from Grantown on Spey: Any form of devolution can be overridden, withdrawn, or dissolved at any time of Westminster's choosing! Question for Danny Alexander from the Lib-Dem mercenery add-on party.

    Mark: I am thirteen years old, yet I can clearly see how blatantly ignorant the Yes campaign have been about the fact that the Bank of England states that Scotland WON'T have the pound as their currency. Surely, at the end of the day, if they say no, we won't have it?

  21. Post update

    Danny Alexander accuses the Scottish government of centralising powers in Edinburgh and introducing "armed police in the Highlands".

  22. Post update

    Mr McDougall says he had seen Ken Stott in the Hobbit, which was "about as thick and as believable" as the Scottish government's White Paper. "That's not what you said to me earlier!" Mr Stott jokes.

  23. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Andrew Scott Crines: Worth noting Boris Johnson is not a Westminster MP #bbcindyref

    avisit2scotland: All this has went on for so long I can't remember why we are not being offered #devomax #bbcindyref

  24. Post update

    Blair MacDougall says Boris Johnson is "a clown" and not even an MP. "I can't imagine serious political party would elect him as leader," he says.

  25. Post update

    "Thanks goodness Boris Johnson is saying these things as it will make more people vote 'Yes'," says an audience member.

  26. Your views

    Text 80295

    Loretta from Glasgow: I agree with the undecided member that there is not enough sorted out already. Other European countries KNEW they were ready for independence because they had fundamental facts and belief. WE as a nation are not economically ready for independence, though possibly emotionally.

    Anonymous: Would Danny Alexander retain his current post and salary in the event of a yes vote?

    William Petrie: The coalition have made pledges before and renaged on them why should we believe them now.

    Margaret, Glasgow: It's worth noting that we've only had food banks since Alex Salmond came into power 7 years ago.

  27. Post update

    An audience member says the Scottish government can "blame Westminster" for any problems.

    Audience members
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    Ken Stott claims that if there is a No vote, "Scotland will disappear off the agenda and be told quite simply to shut up". He asks the audience if they want to be governed from Scotland or England.

  29. Post update

    Danny Alexander says Scotland will get new tax powers through the Scotland Act, which will come into force next year.

    Referendum panel
  30. Post update

    The next questions is from Blair Allan: Has Boris Johnson let the Westminster cat out of the bag, with no more powers for Scotland?

  31. Your views

    Text 80295

    Bobby: When are we going to hear what extra powers scotland will get in the event of a no vote?

    Alex W, Edinburgh: Will the yes campaign tell us the downsides to independence?

    Dougie Harrison: Charities like Cancer Research are not Government run! They can surely operate irrespective of any notional 'border'?

  32. Post update

    An audience member says Westminster has "absolutely no idea what it's like to live in the north of Scotland".

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    Angus Robertson claims that the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have considered abolishing the Barnet formula.

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    "The Barnett formula has abided for generations because it works," Blair McDougall says. He claims the "only threat" to it is "leaving the United Kingdom".

  35. Your views


    Agree that we will require a second referendum once terms are negotiated. Both sides appear to be scaremongering.

    All discussion about currency is negated once EU tell Scotland entry is contingent on using Euro.

  36. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Peter McCluskey: It doesn't matter if something is devolved, under constraints of Barnett our funding for such things is under constant threat #bbcindyref

    Derek Wann: Well said that man.. Yes campaign are doing the scaremongering #bbcindyref

  37. Post update

    "If what you're worried about are the resources for the NHS, you should be voting No," Mr Alexander argues.

  38. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Jordan Callanan: Vote yes for Mrs Doubtfire #bbcindyref #RobinWilliams

    Gemma Maclean: How are teenagers like myself suppose to decide what is best for scotland if yes/no are just arguing and not answering questions? #indyref

    Alexandra Brown: Where's #theHighlander from Nairn? #bbcindyref #yes #18september

  39. Post update

    Danny Alexander agrees with a No supporter in the audience that the Yes campaign's claims on the NHS constitute a "desperate scare campaign".

  40. Post update

    Another audience member says "the No campaign is accused of scaremongering but this is the biggest scare of all".

    Debate audience
  41. Your views

    Text 80295

    Robert: How much is the No vote influenced by the Americans and the nuclear deterrent?

    Anonymous: I am still not sure which way to vote. I'm a proud scot but hardly been out of work under the uk gov and the yes vote is not convincing me that I'll be any better off under independence.

    Audrey Thomson, Arbroath: If scotland are such a financial strain on the uk, why are they fighting to keep us? Also the pound is British, not English!!!

    Iain McLean, Carluke: As a member of the Armed Forces and Scottish, I am interested in hearing what the forward plan is for the serving, recruitment and sustainment of the legacy in which we have been part of for over 100 years?

  42. Post update

    "If we vote No, watch the cuts come," a member of the audience thinks.

  43. Post update

    Blair McDougall says that England is not introducing private health insurance but spending public money on health. "We already control our own NHS" in Scotland, he adds.

  44. Post update

    Angus Robertson says that there is "privatisation" in the NHS in England, and that it could lead to lower funding for Scotland through the Barnett formula to allocate public money to Scotland.

  45. Post update

    Ken Stott thinks that a No "certainly does" threaten the NHS. Voting no would "give powers to Westminster to do exactly what they like forever", he says.

  46. Post update

    Next question from Frank Brown, who asks: Does a No vote threaten the very existence of the NHS in Scotland?

  47. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Miss Jo Connor: Oh come on asking questions about currency is not trying to create fear it's part of the debate #indyref #getreal

    Karen Armstrong: Fed up hearing about currency is there not much more to independence #indyref

  48. Post update

    An audience member asks who would set interest rates without the Bank of England, while another thinks that the EU might impose the euro as a condition of Scotland's membership.

  49. Post update

    "I can foresee a time when Scotland would have it's own currency," Ken Stott says, but adds that "using the pond is obvious and clear and it suits both parties to do so".

  50. Your views

    Text 80295

    Kevin in Inverness: The referendum debate is supposed to educate, inform and help people decide but there are no straight answers - just politicians arguing yet again!

  51. Post update

    Nicky Marr says that she "does not know who to believe" in the debate on currency.

  52. Post update

    Asked what she makes of "all this shouting" from the politicians on the panel, Nicky Marr responds that she has teenagers and is used to it.

    Nicky Marr
  53. Post update

    Mr Robertson accuses the No campaign of "trying to engender fear in the electorate".

  54. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Tony Wells: #bbcindyref - now this is a great audience, some solid clued up statements getting served to the panel.

    Alison Leith: Gaun yersel James Cook #bbcindyref #panama

    Mjaei: Well done @BBCJamesCook, I always wonder that when they try to deride Panama... #bbcindyref

  55. Post update

    Information: The Scottish government has said it wants to continue using the Bank of England as its central bank as part of a currency union, but the UK government has said it would rule this out.

  56. Post update

    Danny Alexander says that there would be no central bank or "lender of last resort" if sterling is used without a currency union.

    Danny Alexander
  57. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Set In Darkness: What's Rebus doing on this? Have there been no murders in Edinburgh recently? #bbcindyref

    Kim McKee: Glad to see ken stott on the panel #bbcindyref > I love Rebus! Glad to see this brilliant #scottish actor is on the side of #VoteYes

  58. Post update

    An audience member says that if there is a "Yes" vote, the pound will be used with or without a currency union.

  59. Post update

    Blair McDougall says that currency matters because "it is people's wages, it is people's pensions, it is people's jobs". He adds: "People want an answer to this question."

  60. Post update

    Ken Stott says he thinks that Plan B is "a brainchild of the No campaign and is going to be death of the No campaign".

  61. Your views

    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews

    Alasdair: There is no need for a Plan B to be set out now. We can opt for a Plan B if need be after #indyref #BBCindyref

    MacJaneway: Angus Robertson using anonymous person to prove why there should be no plan B #bbcindyref

    Gerry Brown: Height of my day is a BBC referendum debate #bbcindyref #sad

  62. Post update

    Nicky Marr says she is "very disappointed that we need a Plan B at all". She adds that "we should no what we are getting ourselves into".

  63. Post update

    Angus Robertson claims that a number of MPs at Westminster back a currency union "in private".

    Angus Robertson
  64. Post update

    Danny Alexander argues that a currency union "wouldn't work for an independent Scotland" and the country would have "less economic freedom".

  65. Post update

    Angus Robertson tells the audience that a currency union between and an independent Scotland and the UK would be "eminently sensible".

    Referendum debate from Inverness
  66. Post update

    And we're off. The first question is from Andrew Bruce, who asks: Is there really any need for a "Plan B" alternative to currency union?

  67. Post update

    This debate comes exactly one week after First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling went head-to-head on STV.

  68. Post update

    The panel also features local MP - and Chief Secretary to the Treasury - Danny Alexander, as well as the SNP's leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson.

  69. Post update

    The debate comes from Inverness and the panel includes Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall, actor Ken Stott and Nicky Marr, a columnist with the Inverness Courier.

  70. Post update


    Hello and welcome to our coverage of the latest independence referendum debate.