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  1. Panellists included Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour MP Jim Murphy
  2. The debate came as polls suggest a narrowing of the gap between the Yes and No campaigns
  3. The referendum on Scottish independence takes place on 18 September
  4. Voters in Scotland will be asked: 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'

Live Reporting

By Marianne Taylor, Aiden James and Louise Sayers

All times stated are UK

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Bye for now

Right, that's it from us for now. Thanks for all your contributions tonight.

For more analysis of all the issues at the centre of the independence debate, go to the

Scotland Decides website.

Scotland Decides

More reaction


Angus MacKay: Actually enjoyed the #bbcindyref debate from Aberdeen. Very civilised for a change.

Tweeting along

Alistair Brodie: I realise why @BBCJamesCook is my favourite MC it's because he lets it show that he wants to know the answers for himself #bbcindyref

BJ, Edinburgh texts: Goldie and Murphy - a stuck record imo! Very unimpressive!

Higher education - your views


Steven Tait: A loss of UK funding and the uncertainty it will bring will inevitably drive academics and leading researchers away from Scotland. We are already beginning to see this as people plan for their move given a Yes vote. This will ruin Scotland's excellence in higher education and Research.

Peter, Caithness: Scottish universities attract research funding not because they are Scottish but because of the work they do.

The end...

And that's the end of another debate. The next debate in the series is on Sunday 14 September in Stirling.

Twitter reaction


Lady J: Voting on Independence isn't as simple as voting for or against the #snp it's more important than that long term #bbcindyref #indyref

Lewis Brown: We might all disagree on areas of POLICY, but without #indy none of us have full control of deciding what those policies are! #bbcindyref

Ross Jardine: This referendum debate would be better if it was in the thunderdome.


Annabel Goldie says "within academia there is concern" about the ability to fund higher education.


An audience member says higher education is also about research and asks if there will be a "funding gap" if Scotland leaves the UK.

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Sarah in Fife: I am disabled. Under an independent government would disabled people still have to suffer the humiliating 'atos' style testing to prove that our disabilities are real?

Tony, Dundee: The Tories must be laughing up their sleeves at their "New Labour" Thatcherites. I truly hope men and women like Jim Murphy will join Team Scotland.

'Next manifesto'

Pressed to promise free tuition fees by an audience member, Jim Murphy says Labour would "set out its policies in its next manifesto".

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Karan Simson: Can you tell me, a senior nurse who is still undecided on how to vote, when you are going to bring NHS wages into line with inflation and stop us living in poverty?

Patricia Donnelly: Is the lever of economy not our base interest rate? Brian's opinions sound very similar to Tory policy? Corporate tax cuts?

David Anderson: If Westminster pays out £6.3 billion more than it gets in as Jim Murphy claims, then why are they so desperate to hang on to us?

'Equal opportunities'

Jim Murphy says everyone wants equal opportunities but argues that volatile oil revenues would risk public spending under independence.

Jim Murphy

'Sky high'

Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland has to charge students from elsewhere in the UK because "Westminster has imposed sky high tuition fees".

'Really personal'

Nicola Sturgeon says education is devolved but "our budget" is not. She says free education is "really personal" for her.

Nicola Sturgeon

Devolved education

Two members of the audience say that education is already devolved in Scotland.


Brian Souter says independence would be best for higher education and defends the SNP's proposed 3% cut in corporation tax as a way for "entrepreneurs" to create jobs.

Higher education - analysis

Information: The referendum debate is diving academics as well as politics.

Read about the issues here.

Higher education question

The next question is:

What's better for higher education - independence or union?

'Change country'

"Let's work to change our whole country, these islands," says Jim Murphy, rather than relying on the "uncosted promises of the SNP".

Labour government

"Every person in Scotland could vote Labour and we wouldn't get a Labour government if England votes Tory," claims Nicola Sturgeon.

Twitter reaction


Lee Alexander: #bbcindyref Annabel Goldie, a sane calm voice in the debate, not wrankled, not intimidated, a great lady.

John Baikie: Most of the yes brigade shouting about getting the government they vote for have never set foot in a polling station. Hypocrisy. #bbcindyref

Derek Healey: Vote or don't vote. It doesn't matter. England will decide if Cameron stays or goes, not the rest of the UK. #bbcindyref


Brian Souter jokes that independence would "liberate" Jim Murphy from Westminster and bring him to the Scottish Parliament.

UKIP in Scotland

"London didn't vote for a UKIP MEP but Scotland did," says Jim Murphy, adding: "David Cameron is temporary."

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Clare: SNP haven't brought new jobs or industry into Scotland, tax will go up. Everything is too uncertain. There's no Plan B if goes wrong!

Brian, Aberdeen: Better when you gave us the poll tax a year before everyone else.

'Voted with Tories'

Jim Murphy says that the SNP voted with the Conservatives in 1979 to bring down a Labour government at Westminster, enabling Mrs Thatcher to come to power.

Election claim

Annabel Goldie says that in 13 elections out of 18 since the Second World War, Scotland got the UK government it voted for.


Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland should not take the risk "of another Tory government that we didn't vote for". She calls UKIP's gains "pretty terrifying".

UKIP defection

Last week English Conservative MP Douglas Carswell

defected to UKIP and triggered a by-election in his constituency of Clacton, to take place on 9 October.


Annabel Goldie says that the greater threat "is the uncertainty caused by the prospect of independence".

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Susan Dalgety: I didn't vote for a Tory government either Nicola, but neither did I vote for an #indyref - nor did majority of Scots #bbcindyref

Tom: Hi Brian - I don't think Cyrus or Greece feels particularly independent #BBCIndyRef

UKIP question

The next question is:

Does the prospect of a strengthened UKIP presence in Westminster provide more risk to Scotland than independence?

'Budget deficit'

Annabel Goldie said would "take time to address" a budget deficit if Scotland became independent.

'Common sense test'

Brian Souter claims the No campaigns arguments do not "pass the common sense test".

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Doris McDay: #indyref #bbcindyref this weeks debates are much better than all the previous ones. The whole campaign would be better without Salmond.

Hannah: Another #referendum debate and i am still confused! #undecided #yes or #no ?!

Andrew Hall: I'm liking tonight's referendum debate. It's being well policed, no hiding #indyref #BBC

Sterling answer

"The answer is the pound," insists Nicola Sturgeon.

Currency is back

It's the first mention of an independent Scotland's likely future currency of the night. Jim Murphy says the pro-independence campaign cannot say what currency they would use.

Your views

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Andrew MacLeod: Westminster won't subsidize a spare bedroom. Let alone a whole country!

Tommy in Sandyhills, Glasgow: Reason for increase for yes vote is the news that BORIS could be PM in the near future.

Food banks

Jim Murphy says he "wants rid of food banks" in Scotland and the rest of the UK and accuses the SNP of not backing a minimum wage or a living wage in parliamentary votes. "Not true," claims Nicola Sturgeon.

'Serial misleaders'

Nicola Sturgeon says: "The No campaign are serial misleaders when it comes to Scotland's finances" to applause, and audible disagreement from Jim Murphy.