Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Miliband makes pro-Union speech

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Media captionEd Miliband: "We are stronger together as a United Kingdom"

The Labour leader has stepped into the debate on Scotland's constitutional future during a speech in London.

Ed Miliband said the future of the Union is too important to be debated only in Scotland.

And he has accused First Minister Alex Salmond of posing a "false choice" on independence.

Mr Miliband's speech comes ahead of the launch of the 'No to independence' campaign, which is expected to begin within the next fortnight.

The Labour leader's advisers defended his decision to make a speech about the Union in London, saying it underlines his view that the case for the UK must be heard in England and Wales, as well as Scotland.

The Labour leader has also criticised those in England whom he says "simply shrug their shoulders at the prospect of the Union's break-up".

Mr Miliband said people in Scotland were being offered a "false choice" between being Scottish and British when, in reality, they were both.

The Labour leader said: "We prosper and suffer together. And it's not just about the present, it's about the future as well."

In a message to First Minister Alex Salmond, he added: "Economic progress is not going to be achieved through Scotland leaving the United Kingdom and simply being part of Europe.

"It's going to be achieved with Scotland part of the United Kingdom. Our identities, our economies, are too intertwined to believe anything else.

"Change will come when the United Kingdom works together, not pulls apart."

Asked about his hope that Scottish supporters would back England in the European Championships, which start tomorrow, Mr Miliband said: "Should Scots support England? Yes, is the answer.

"I think England needs as many supporters as it can get in these European Championships.

"So I would obviously urge them to do so, but I don't think it makes them un-British if they don't support England."

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