Referendum round-up: Nine weeks to go

It's nine weeks to go until the referendum and, with the debate ramping up, it can be be easy to lose track - but we're here to help.

Each Friday, we'll give you a round-up of the big referendum stories, the small referendum stories, and the weird ones from the far-flung corners of the internet.

We'll also take a look at what you've been saying on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other social media outlets.

So, here's what's been going on this week.

Campaign supernova

Image copyright Getty Images

This week, the independence debate went up a level - literally.

The UK government suggested Scotland could be the base for a new spaceport, but the Scottish government said only independence would allow Scotland to fulfil its interstellar ambitions.

The Scotsman's Martyn McLaughlin ‏tweeted: "Of all the #indyref issues that generating way more media coverage than they deserve, Scottish space exploration's in a galaxy of its own."

Maybe he's right but, if the referendum is a draw, there would be worse ways to settle it than a climactic lightsaber battle between Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

The Blue Brazil

It's been 16 years of hurt since Scotland featured at the World Cup finals, but the campaigns didn't let that stop them from jumping on the Brazil bandwagon.

Yes Scotland tweeted a team-sheet of the Yes side - National Collective, NHS For Yes, the Scottish Greens - against the 'No' side - the BNP, UKIP, Conservatives - with the question "Whose side do you want to be on?"

Better Together responded with their its own graphic, saying polls show 60% of Scottish people are on "their team".

Whoever got the best of the argument, we're just glad Germany had a good pre-season warm-up before their crunch match with Scotland in September.

You what, Juncker?

Jean Claude Juncker, the incoming European Commission president, was inadvertently dragged into the referendum debate this week.

Reports came out of Brussels which claimed he had said there would be no new EU members in the next five years.

Better Together said it had "ended Salmond's European dream", with the Yes side saying the comments had nothing to do with Scotland.

The BBC's James Cook settled the matter, tweeting: "Jean Claude Juncker's spokeswoman says he was not referring to Scotland when he talked about a five year pause in EU accession."

If Mr Juncker wasn't aware of how keenly-contested Scotland's referendum debate is, he is now.

Stars in their ayes (and naws)

If incoming European Commission presidents aren't your thing, maybe you'll be more interested in two star-spangled referendum campaign videos released this week on Youtube.

David Hayman, Elaine C Smith, and Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai spoke about why they're voting 'Yes' in Yes Scotland's effort.

Let's Stay Together's video featured John Barrowman, Richard Wilson, and Eddie Izzard singing You're My Best Friend by Queen.

Asked for her thoughts on celebrity independence interventions on our Facebook page, Kim White posted: "Everyone is entitled to an opinion. As Oscar Wilde said: 'I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.'"

Sweet irony

Image copyright ALAN RODEN

On Thursday, Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling both hit the referendum campaign trail.

Mr Darling took a trip to Loch Lomond where he said being in the UK benefits Scottish tourism, and Mr Salmond was in Liverpool, where he delivered a speech about inequality in the UK.

Given the content of Mr Salmond's speech, you wonder if the choice of desert at the following lunch was satirical.

Daily Mail journalist Alan Roden tweeted: "Eton Mess at the Salmond lunch."

Have you seen something you think should be in next week's Referendum Round-Up? Tweet it using #RefRoundUp, or message us on Facebook.

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