Scottish independence referendum: Experts examine the claims

With the debate on Scotland's future entering "referendum year", the "yes" and "no" sides are intensifying their campaigns.

But what are their messages and how are they being viewed, not only by each other, but by experts, commentators and academics?

Throughout the coming months, the BBC news website will be picking out statements from both sides of the debate and asking a panel of experts to analyse the claims.

Here, we look at some of the key messages in the UK government's series of papers arguing for the Union.


UK government paper on Currency and Monetary Policy: "Scotland and the rest of the UK are economically well placed in the current UK arrangements. Independence would change this assessment, even if an independent Scotland were to remain part of a sterling currency zone. Fiscal independence would make the monetary policy of the Bank of England less well suited to Scottish economic conditions."

PRO-UNION: Better Together leader and former UK chancellor Alistair Darling, says: "A currency union can only work if you have increased economic and political union - the very thing that nationalism is dead against."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: John Swinney, Scottish finance secretary, says: "The benefits of a currency union are clear for both sides in terms of issues like promoting investment, eliminating transaction costs, reducing borrowing costs and facilitating the movement of labour and capital, and we welcome the governor's recognition of these benefits."

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Angus Robertson

In a formal currency union the Bank of England would continue to deliver a single overall monetary policy”

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EXPERT - Angus Armstrong, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, says: "If Scotland becomes independent then the economies of Scotland and the rest of the UK are likely to diverge: for one thing, Scotland would become a large oil exporting nation and the rest of the UK would continue as an oil importer.

"In a formal currency union the Bank of England would continue to deliver a single overall monetary policy.

"Given that the rest of the UK would be ten times the size of Scotland, under any reasonable voting arrangement it is fairly clear to see in whose interests policy would be set. If an independent Scotland had its own currency there would be scope for setting its own policy."

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City of London

UK government paper on Business and Microeconomic Framework: "Splitting the UK market, by introducing a border of whatever form, will introduce a barrier to the free flow of goods, capital and labour to the detriment of firms, workers and consumers in both states and risks making it more challenging to attract overseas investors."

PRO-UNION: UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, says: "Breaking up Scotland's most lucrative market would destabilise enterprise and potentially put growth and jobs at risk. My message to the Scottish business community is that we're stronger and more secure together."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE - Fergus Ewing, Scottish Enterprise Minister, says: "There is so much scaremongering going on that people are shutting off. We want businesses to succeed - we want regulation that is appropriate and not cumbersome."

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David Gibbons-Wood

Predicting the winners and losers is not easy, but change would occur as Scotland, and the rest of the UK, became less integrated”

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EXPERT - David Gibbons-Wood, Robert Gordon University,says: "The UK is one of the most highly integrated economic unions in the world and the establishment of a border between Scotland and the rest of the UK could be criticised using basic economic theory.

"Splitting such an integrated market is generally perceived to be against the interest of consumers and against the economic consensus of the last 60 years. A set of border controls post yes is in neither sides interests, and no one is currently proposing a border in the sense of checkpoints.

"A border need not be physical, it could be based on differing regulations, differing income tax or more stringent labour laws. Any of these factors could create a differential between prices paid by someone in Newcastle relative to someone in Glasgow. Predicting the winners and losers is not easy, but change would occur as Scotland, and the rest of the UK, became less integrated. The first small signs of differing prices would come in the increase of postage costs from mail order companies or eBay traders based in England. Similarly, the existence of separate countries might make people view working north or south of the border as no longer viable. This may exacerbate skills shortages as labour markets become fragmented, but it depends upon the perceptions people have if there is a yes vote rather than any actual barriers.

"Border differences between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, will be similar to those between Denmark and Germany if both nations remain part of the EU. A vote by the people of the rest of UK to leave the EU would make the debate about borders a central issue to Scotland's future economic wellbeing and connectivity. The danger for Scotland is that a democratically separate 'rest of the UK' outwith the EU might have very different policies on immigration and trade, resulting in significant border restrictions."

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RBS logo

UK government paper on Financial Services and Banking: "As part of the UK, firms and individuals benefit from a world-leading financial services sector and a large, integrated domestic market for financial services, with clear and effective arrangements for protecting consumers. This position would be put at risk if Scotland were to become independent."

PRO-UNION: Former Scottish secretary Michael Moore, says: "If you put a border in the middle of that market, if you introduce different tax and regulatory regimes, it's wishful thinking to think it's not going to have any effect on the range of products you and I can buy to protect our families and our futures."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, says: "We see other small European countries that, right now, have mortgage rates lower than people get here in Scotland and it is also the case that increasingly we are looking at global action, European wide and and global-wide action, to make sure that we never experience again what the banking sector experienced some years ago."

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Piotr Jaworski

The clarity of arrangements for protecting consumers should not be very different than the one which governs the UK market now”

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EXPERT - Piotr Jaworski, Edinburgh Napier University, says: "If Scotland becomes independent with its own separate financial services sector, the clarity of arrangements for protecting consumers should not be very different than the one which governs the UK market now. Assuming that Scotland will be aiming at the membership of the European Union such arrangements must be in line with the EU system, which does not leave much space for differentiations among the Member States or Candidate Countries.

"However, effectiveness of such arrangements depends on the size of the market behind it, which in the case of an independent Scotland will be much smaller. This is especially true in the case of administrative costs of such a system: it seems that on average they must be higher. On the other hand, leaving such costs aside and assuming that Scotland will aim at small and medium size banking serving mainly the domestic economy it should not matter too much. All of this is also true in the long term while as in the short term uncertainty, which must be attributed to the process of creating such a system, would adversely affect both efficiency and clarity."

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UK government paper Science and Research: "The UK is ranked second only to the US in terms of world-class research, and the UK's share of the world's top 1% most cited publications is on an upward trend. If Scotland were to become independent, its continued success in these areas could not be guaranteed."

PRO-UNION: UK Universities Minister David Willetts, says: "British science across the UK is great. Edinburgh science is great, Glasgow science is great, all the other ones are as well. If the best you can say is you would strain every sinew to try to keep the same thing as you had pre-independence then the game hardly seems worth the effort - why not just stick with what you have got, which everyone says is working?"

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell, says: "We have more world-class universities per head of population than any other country and it is precisely because of that global excellence that in an independent Scotland will continue to attract valuable investment, research funding and students from around the globe."

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Roger Cook

While the government paper is accurate to note that the relative apportionment to Scotland (roughly 10%) is higher than Scotland's share of GDP it should be noted that Scottish universities are much less dependent on this source of income than their English equivalents”

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EXPERT - Roger Cook, The Scotland Institute,says: "There is practically no evidence for this claim which really is little but an assertion. The bulk of research funding received by Scotland's universities is allocated by a fully devolved process as of now.

"To make sense of the government claim, first the ratio of non-Funding Council research income to total research income needs to be calculated. This means breaking the research funding down into the difference between that received from the relevant funding council and the amount of research funding received from all other sources (research councils, charities, industry etc).

"The existing research councils are constituted on a UK basis. They allocated £298m to Scotland and £2,977m to England for 2011/12. In other words, while the government paper is accurate to note that the relative apportionment to Scotland (roughly 10%) is higher than Scotland's share of GDP it should be noted that Scottish universities are much less dependent on this source of income than their English equivalents.

"There is no evidence that the SFC is planning to reduce the core research grants to Scottish universities. In the case of independence, it is possible that the current UK wide Research Council system would cease, it is equally possible that a joint system could be created. Even if all the current funding was lost from the Scottish sector, total research income per member of staff would remain above that in the rUK

"There is no reason to believe that the charitable sector funding for research in Scotland would be affected by independence. The government paper makes a series of strange claims, such as loss of NHS funded research, which takes no account of the reality that most NHS funded research in Scotland comes from the Scottish NHS; loss of EU funding for research, or of the loss of international networks when many academics work outside their country of origin already.

"The only valid claim in the paper is the loss of access to Research Council grants (depending on the post-independence arrangements). As noted this funding stream is less important for Scottish universities."

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UK government paper on Security: "Police Scotland would lose automatic access to the capabilities and resources of MI5, SIS and GCHQ and the UK's wider intelligence analysis capabilities. An independent Scottish state would have to build up its own infrastructure because new capabilities would be required."

PRO-UNION: UK Home Secretary Theresa May, says: "I don't think it is possible to guarantee that the threat would diminish with a separate Scotland, but what would change would be the scale of capability that Scotland would have access to."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, says: "An independent Scotland will have first rate security arrangements to counter any threats we may face. And we will continue to work in very close collaboration with the rest of the UK and international partners on security and intelligence matters, which is in everyone's interests."

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Bill Buchanan

No matter which way it goes, every nation, every region, every city and every organisation needs to understand where its key risks are around its infrastructure, and try to mitigate against these”

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EXPERT - Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier Universitysays: "Scotland is a small nation, and, in an independent Scotland, it is likely to have a different threat profile than the UK generally. For us, the focus is likely to be in the protection of our key business sectors, such as oil and gas, the finance sector, education, and health and social care. It is most likely that our defences will focus on protecting citizen rights against threats, while trying to enable increased access to data, and providing citizens with more control over it. Through increased devolution, Scotland has made major strides towards this, in a way which the UK has tended to struggled with.

"No matter what happens, the nation is becoming increasingly dependent on its cyber infrastructure. This is highlighted by certain key internet routes from Scotland to the rest of the world. Any problems with these routes would have a major impact on both businesses and the public sector.

"Scotland mainly depends on its internet and wireless communication infrastructure on route that go through London. Any issues around power outages in London could cause significant problems in Scotland. No matter which way the vote goes, Scotland needs to understand its critical infrastructure and the routes for the provision of energy and internet connectivity.

"In conclusion, the ball has been rolling for a more developed information infrastructure in Scotland, and nothing should stop this. While the nation may lose out on the connections to the larger UK intelligence network, it could gain from a connection to a large international one. No matter which way it goes, every nation, every region, every city and every organisation needs to understand where its key risks are around its infrastructure, and try to mitigate against these.

"At present Scotland has an under-investment in its cyber defence, and no matter which way the country votes, there needs to be more funding around this by the Scottish government."

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Shipyards on Clyde

UK government paper on Defence: "Companies based in an independent Scottish state would no longer be eligible for contracts that the UK chose to place or compete domestically for national security reasons; and where they could continue to compete they would be pitching for business in a competitive international market dominated by major economic powers. Other than procurement activity undertaken during the World Wars, the UK has not had a complex warship built outside the UK since the start of the 20th century at least."

PRO-UNION: UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, says: "The debate on the future of defence in Scotland is too important to be ignored, or brushed under the carpet, or fobbed off with half-baked sound bite policies which are financially and strategically incoherent."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Scottish government minister Keith Brown, says: "We would increase the number of defence jobs in Scotland, from around 11,000 to 15,000 and we believe that's the optimum number for the kind of things which we want to see a defence force in Scotland carry out - not illegal wars."

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Phillips O'Brien

The final point that needs to be made about independence and shipbuilding is that if the union breaks up, the future of all future shipbuilding plans will come under review”

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EXPERT - Phillips O'Brien, University of Glasgow, says: "The real problem that an independent Scotland would have in securing warship building from the rest of the UK (rUK) is political. States overwhelmingly choose to build their warships in their own shipyards, even if the cost is considerably higher than that offered by outside companies. For many years the UK has shown a willingness to pay this domestic premium, only opting for outside construction - most famously in the case of the next generation of military fuel tankers now being built in Korea - when there was no British yard capable of doing the work.

"That being said, the recent decision to concentrate the shipbuilding of the new Type 26 frigates on the Clyde, while reducing the capabilities of Portsmouth, means that it is almost certain that Scotland would be able to build the new class of vessel at lower cost than anywhere in the rUK. It is therefore not inconceivable for an independent Scotland to secure some work building these vessels. However, to get the work, one assumes that an independent Scotland would have to place orders for the purchase of military equipment from the rUK for approximately the same amount. In other words, it is very difficult to imagine that the rUK, after Scotland decided to leave the Union, would then turn around and spend much money employing Scots, unless it received money for orders in return.

"The final point that needs to be made about independence and shipbuilding is that if the union breaks up, the future of all future shipbuilding plans will come under review. Right now the UK is still trying to maintain enough military force to justify its position as a global power with a seat on the UN Security Council. A diminished rUK, however, could opt for a much reduced global role with reduced capability. In that case, there simply might not be many ships built anywhere."

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European Union
EU flag

UK government paper on EU and International Issues: "Scotland will receive €228 million more in structural funds than if it were an independent state. On the Common Agricultural Policy, an independent Scottish state's receipts are uncertain and would depend on the terms of accession, which would have to be agreed by all 28 member states."

PRO-UNION: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, says: "The bottom line is this - Scotland outside of the UK would have to negotiate its own way back into the European Union, and as such its terms of membership would be entirely different to those we currently enjoy."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, says: "Nothing we propose changes the material conditions of any other member state - while they are so certain of complete success in their own ill-advised re-negotiations with the EU over proposals that will fundamentally change the provisions of treaties on which the entire EU, and its single market, rests."

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Kirsteen Shields

Of greater significance is what lies beyond 2020”

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Expert - Kirsteen Shields, University of Dundee, says: "Expense to other member states in increasing CAP receipts to an independent Scotland may in time be offset by reduction in CAP receipts to the UK. Member States would likely be motivated to ensure that it would remain viable for Scotland to remain in the EU.

"The budget ceiling at issue relates to a six-year period only. Of greater significance is what lies beyond 2020. In that respect it is important to consider the budgetary implications for Scotland were it to remain in a UK which is severed from the EU or whether, in the long-term, it may be more advantageous for Scotland to be in the EU than in the UK."

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Fiscal policy
Bank of England building

UK government paper on Macroeconomic and Fiscal Performance: "A separate Scottish state would have to establish its own macroeconomic and institutional framework. Institutional and policy divergence between Scotland and the continuing UK would be likely to lead to a weakening of economic integration. And over the longer-term, some business networks might end as a result of economic, historical and cultural ties being weakened.

PRO-UNION: UK chancellor George Osborne, says:"Let's lay to rest some myths once and for all - independent countries of a similar size do not outperform Scotland."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says: "If you were sitting in Norway listening to George Osborne you would laugh at him, because they are a country of similar size to Scotland that is sitting right now on a £470bn oil fund for the future."

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David Ulph

A separate Scottish state might choose to mimic some of the institutional framework in the rest of the UK (rUK) - e.g., competition framework - or pursue a very different competition policy”

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EXPERT - David Ulph, from the Social Institute for Research in Economics, says: "While it is true that a Scottish state would have to develop its own macroeconomic and institutional framework, what this statement seems to ignore is that Scotland already has a very different institutional framework from rest of UK - different legal system, education system, health system etc.

"A separate Scottish state might choose to mimic some of the institutional framework in the rest of the UK (rUK) - eg, competition framework - or pursue a very different competition policy. There is nothing inevitable about a widening divergence, this is to some extent a matter of policy choice.

"Almost by definition it is certainly true that the creation of a separate Scottish state would bring to an end the devolution of powers from UK to Scotland. But that doesn't mean that all devolution would end. There are interesting questions about devolution of powers within the rest of the UK, and devolution of tax and spending powers within Scotland to local authorities.

"While true that sharing of fiscal risks would be reduced there is nothing inevitable about not being able to coordinate policies and share costs. Note: Airbus provides example of coordination and sharing of costs across national boundaries.

"Finally, for reasons set out above, I don't think there is a lot one can learn from the literature of trade, labour and capital flows. Given the existing institutional divergences, are Scotland and the rest of the UK best thought of as two regions of a single country or as two otherwise similar regions in different countries?

"But one important point is that it is essential to distinguish trade flows from capital and labour flows. It makes a great deal of difference whether some goods or services are produced in rest of UK using capital and labour in rest of UK and then exported into Scotland, or whether there are flows of labour and capital into Scotland to facilitate local production to serve the domestic market. Institutional and other barriers may limit trade flows but encourage flows of labour and capital."

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Scotland Decides

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Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

    17:43: Wearing it well

    Youth employment minister Angela Constance, who has become known for her exciting fashion choices in the chamber, arrived for this afternoon's debate sporting this dazzling pair of shoes. The cherries are not thought to be edible.

    17:35: SNP MSP quits

    The SNP has confirmed that John Wilson MSP is to quit the party whip in the Scottish Parliament - reducing the Nationalist majority to one.

    Mr Wilson previously fell out with the party over the SNP's decision to endorse Nato membership in an independent Scotland.

    But he was prevailed upon to stay in the Parliamentary group. With the referendum over, he has chosen to stand down. The SNP said they wished him well.

    17:31: 'Enthusiastic position'

    The SNP is not "grieving", Alex Salmond told the Scottish Parliament debate on the referendum in his closing remarks.

    "We are actually in a very enthusiastic position indeed. Not just because of the participation, because of the 51,284 members of the Scottish National Party.

    "People who have been encouraged to join us, the Greens and the other 'Yes' forces because that political awakening of Scotland will take us forward.

    "That is why we look forward to the next few months and years of Scottish politics."

    That brings the debate to a close for today, it resumes in the Holyrood chamber tomorrow afternoon.

    17:21: PM: Queen purred over Scotland vote

    The Queen "purred" when David Cameron told her about Scotland's rejection of independence referendum, he has apparently revealed.

    The prime minister, overheard by waiting camera crews while in conversation with ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said he had "never heard someone so happy" at the result.

    Buckingham Palace declined to comment on Mr Cameron's remarks.

    David Cameron and Michael Bloomberg

    In the referendum, voters in Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%.

    17:16: 'Laying a trap'

    Mr Salmond turns to David Cameron's comments that devolution would happen "in tandem" with moves to restrict Scottish MPs from voting on English matters.

    Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson intervenes and says "you can have concurrent activity without one activity being dependent on the other".

    The first minister says he is sure he does not need to explain to her that Mr Cameron was "laying a trap for Labour".

    "That concurrent activity as far as the Labour Party is concerned is a non-starter."

    17:15: 'Little bitterness'

    Closing the debate, Alex Salmond says there has been "surprisingly little" bitterness in the MSPs' contributions.

    Alex Salmond
    17:12: 'No consolation prize'

    "We cannot allow grief to be transformed yet again into grievance," says Drew Smith, Labour MSP for Glasgow.

    Devolution should not be seen as a "consolation prize", he says.

    17:10: 'Things change'

    Jean Urquhart, independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, says she thinks Alex Salmond still has a "huge role to play in Scottish politics".

    She also says she does not think the independence question is "done and dusted".

    "Life goes on, and things do change" she says.

    Jean Urquhart
    17:07: More powers offer Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    Perhaps the concessions on more powers may have to be made by the Labour party because at present their offer falls rather short, in terms of income tax certainly, of what is being proposed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

    Again, people from the UK government are insisting that the Barnett Formula will remain. This was something that was drawn attention to by Mr Salmond. He said it was not in the Commons motion and he was rather concerned about that point.

    17:03: 'Tight timetable' Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    Lord Smith, whose job it is to put together these proposals on more powers for Holyrood, has said it won't be easy to reach agreement.

    If you consider that the constitutional convention took years, prior to the 1997 Labour government. If you consider that the Calman Commission also took years and Lord Smith has got a couple of months at most. It is very tight.

    Patrick Harvie for the Greens referred to it as being an exceptionally tight timetable. There is also the issue of whether the English votes on English laws has to be taken "in tandem".

    I understand from UK government sources that is very definitely uncoupled but some in the Conservative Party might not see it that way.

    I think it is a really challenging prospect

    17:00: 'Magnanimous and gracious'

    People in politics should be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat, says Murdo Fraser, the Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

    "As a Scottish Conservative, I have, over the past two decades, had to develop a good line in being gracious.

    "Today, unaccustomed as I am, I will try my best to be magnanimous. And if I fall short, I can only plead my lack of experience."

    16:52: Jilted spouse?

    The debate at Holyrood continues, with Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, saying "a vow is a vow", referring to the pledge of more powers from Westminster parties.

    She adds: "Reneging on a vow made jointly is a bit like turning up to church to get married and telling your new spouse it was all a terrible mistake."

    Ms McKelvie also attacks the Labour Party for its "obscene" plan to cut child benefit and its support for the UK's nuclear deterrent.

    16:47: Debate analysis Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    The other party leaders were all stressing the need to move on, the need to consider the prospect of further powers. Those endorsing the Union were arguing that these would in fact be delivered.

    For the Conservatives, Ruth Davidson urged people on the Yes side to accept the result. She referred to some rumours kicking around online about vote-rigging. She said these had been completely dismissed by the authorities and were futile.

    Willie Rennie was pursuing broadly the same theme while arguing that there should be further devolution down to Scotland's communities.

    Labour's Johann Lamont seemed to feel it was few more than a handful of miscreants that had soured the tone a little bit, but nevertheless she was markedly positive, talking about working with the Scottish government where that is possible on issues like land reform and education, the NHS etc.

    The sting in the tail is that all of this was in the context of the Union being endorsed as the settled will of the Scottish people, as she put it.

    16:37: Debate analysis Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    It was a rather impressive debate in the Scottish Parliament.

    The tone was set by Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick delivering "thought for the week", as we occasionally call it.

    She urged unity and she reminded MSPs of the quite extraordinary turnout in the referendum.

    That was picked up by Alex Salmond in his address. He said, with exception of what he called a 'handful of miscreants', this had been the greatest democratic experience in Scotland's history. He said it was a credit to the nation.

    16:31: 'Just relief'

    "On the 'No' side, the overwhelming emotion has not been one of joy, or celebration or even victory - just relief," says Labour MSP for Eastwood Ken Macintosh.

    He adds: "The word 'scaremongering' has been flogged to death during the campaign, but the point I want to make is that people were genuinely scared."

    He tells 'No' supporters not to "dwell in bitterness or resentment".

    Ken Macintosh
    16:27: Older voters - Your views

    Wm Dickie emails: Real truth is older people have seen the difference in what politicians promise and what politicians, with the best will in the world, deliver.

    Margaret Woodrow emails: I cannot believe the comments being made about older people voting NO in the referendum. We are as entitled as anyone to vote what we believed was the best option. I understand that some people are disappointed but please do not tear our country apart by making comments that at best are annoying and worst are hurtful.

    16:23: 'Bread and butter'

    Jim Hume, Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, says some of Alex Salmond's comments after the referendum were "deeply unhelpful".

    Now it is time to return to the "bread and butter" of politics, he says.

    Jim Hume
    16:17: 'Little offered'

    Marco Biagi, the SNP member for Edinburgh Central, says: "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that we have not got to a new constitutional arrangement."

    He says the people of Scotland will "recognise how little has been offered", and predicts that "the independence question will come back".

    16:08: Home Rule?

    Roderick Campbell, the SNP MSP for North East Fife, says the Vow began with Gordon Brown talking about modern form of "Home Rule". He says that has since become "extensive powers" when discussed by Westminster leaders.

    16:06: Votes for 16 and 17 year olds

    During the Scottish Parliament debate, Alex Rowley, the Labour MSP for Cowdenbeath, calls for stronger local government and agrees that 16 and 17 year olds should have the vote in all elections.

    15:51: Not a 'typical granny'

    SNP MSP Christine Grahame pays tribute to the first minister for tolerating her "idiosyncratic moments" in this chamber.

    Ms Grahame says she is not a "typical granny" and she would not want people to attack pensioners.

    christine grahame

    However, she says that while younger people got information from social media, older people were getting the bulk of their information from the mainstream and broadcast media.

    She says they were subjected to scare stories on pensions and the economy.

    15:43: 'Freedom of expression'

    Former Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie tells MSPs "democracy is underpinned by freedom of opinion and freedom of expression".

    Annabel Goldie

    She says voters have decisively endorsed the United Kingdom. That verdict must be heard, accepted and now we must move on, Ms Goldie says.

    15:41: A political history...

    Big changes are afoot at the UK's Parliament - but not for the first time.

    By 1603, England and Scotland had the same king but different parliaments. King James tried to persuade the English Parliament to bring the Scottish Parliament into the fold. But English MPs refused to let any Scots into the Westminster club.

    1603 Westminster pic

    Find out more about the changes Parliament has seen over the past 900 years here.

    15:38: The sky's the limit

    Mark McDonald, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside, told the Holyrood debate on the independence referendum there was an eight-year-old girl in his constituency who gave Alex Salmond a note saying 'Thank you for fighting for my future'.

    Mr McDonald says Molly's ambition had been to go to university to be an astronomer. "Her mum now tells me that her ambition is to grow up to be Nicola Sturgeon," he says.

    15:36: Miliband coverage

    Don't forget you can follow the latest from Labour leader Ed Miliband's speech to the party conference in Manchester here.

    Ed Miliband speech
    15:33: Debunking voting myths?

    Labour MSP for Dumbarton, Jackie Baillie, says she wants to debunk the myths about the way people voted.

    She says that, while some Labour voters did vote for Yes, there were many SNP voters who voted No.

    Ms Baillie says it's a myth to suggest more women voted Yes, adding that there have been some "frankly reprehensible" things said about the over-55s voting No.

    15:31: English devolution Richard Moss BBC News

    No more detail from @Ed_Miliband speech on English devolution - other than non-specific talk of passing powers to councils. #Lab14

    15:28: Read All About It...

    SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson pays tribute Alex Salmond, whom he has known since the first minister was editor of the Free Student Press in the mid-70s.

    Stewart Stevenson
    15:27: Miliband: Cameron 'pandering' to UKIP

    "If David Cameron cares so much about the Union, why is he seeking to divide us?" Ed Miliband asks.

    "He's learning the wrong lessons from Scotland."

    Mr Miliband claims that constitutional reform is "not about playing political tactics with England" and accuses the prime minister of "pandering" to UKIP.

    15:24: Miliband on devolution

    Ed Miliband says he wants to reform the House of Lords "so we truly have a senate of the nations and regions".

    On English devolution, he commits to "devolving power to local government, bringing power closer to people right across England".

    Labour leader Ed Miliband

    He adds: "It's got to be led by the people. It can't be a Westminster stitch-up. That's why we need a proper constitutional convention."

    15:22: Miliband: Labour will offer youth vote

    Ed Miliband confirms Labour would give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds, echoing Mr Salmond's earlier call.

    "Friends, let's give a voice to these young people in our party. And let's give a voice to these young people in our democracy, let's give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds and make them part of our democracy," he told the 2013 party conference in Brighton.

    15:20: Young people's 'energy and engagement'

    Annabelle Ewing, the SNP MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife tells MSPs that "hope" had underlined the enthusiasm, energy and engagement of the young people of Scotland.

    She says the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to change the voting age at elections to 16 and she hopes the party leaders will bring that about.

    Annabelle Ewing
  33. 15:18: Andy Murray - Your Views

    Gary: Andy Murray is Scottish first and British second. The media, newspapers and TV commentators always says he is Scottish when he loses and British when he's winning. So leave the guy alone and get a life.

    15:16: Jones: Wales at heart of debate

    Carwyn Jones adds that changes in one part of the UK "affects the position in all the others".

    Carwyn Jones

    "The prime minister said on Friday that he wants a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."

    He said that he wants Wales to be at the heart of the debate. I will hold him to that promise," he says.

    15:13: 'Power of capital'

    Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for the Lothians, says the facts are that the majority of the electorate voted No.

    "I fundamentally believe you do not challenge the power of capital by dividing along national lines," he says.

    Mr Findlay says the SNP claimed to want a fairer society but the only redistributive policy it had was to reduce corporation tax for the richest business.

    15:12: Jones: 'Status quo gone'

    Carwyn Jones: "I spoke to the prime minister on Friday. I told him how much I - and most members of this Assembly - welcomed the positive choice that the people of Scotland have made: to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    "But the status quo has gone. Events in Scotland have swept it away and there can be no going back to the way things were."

    15:11: Carwyn Jones statement

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has been giving a statement to Assembly Members in Cardiff, where he has urged David Cameron to involve all members of the "UK family" in future talks on devolution.

    He also urged the prime minister to ditch short-term "sticking plaster solutions", adding that he would hold the PM to his promise that he would put Wales at the heart of the debate.

    15:10: 'Trust shattered by fear'

    Aberdeen SNP MSP Kevin Stewart says some No voters had their trust shattered by fear.

    He says there were Polish voters who were told they would be deported if Scotland was independence.

    He says the promise of Devo Max enticed some people to vote No. He says the Westminster politicians had done everything they can to keep Devo Max off the ballot.

    @AlexSalmond 15:09: First Minister Alex Salmond

    First Minister Alex Salmond tweets: We have a totally new body politic, a new spirit abroad in the land - one which is speaking loud and clear. Things cannot be the same again.

    15:04: Debate starts

    The Scottish Parliament will now have an open debate on the independence referendum.

    15:02: 'Innate resistance to change'

    "Westminster has an innate resistance to change," Mr Harvie says. "In Scotland there is a thirst for change of the broken economic system and the broken political system which has been propping it up."

    Mr Harvie says the "generational change" is a great thing. He says he speaks as a member of a party whose youth wing is bigger than the entire party was earlier this week.

    15:01: Salmond: Full story

    Here's the full story on Alex Salmond calling for the voting age to be lowered.

    Mr Salmond also said he thought Scotland was now the most politically-engaged nation in western Europe.

    "Wherever we're travelling together, we're a better nation today than we were at the start of this process. We are more informed, more enabled and more empowered," he added.

    14:59: 'Within a political bubble'

    Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie says all variants of "Devo Next" point to Scotland needing to be able to have its own powers and take its own decisions.

    He says the deal being brokered by Lord Smith will not have enough time to do the job properly and it can't be a decision made "within a political bubble".

    14:57: 'Inspiring behaviour'

    The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, condemns bad behaviour on both sides of the campaign. But he says he has found it far easier to find examples of "inspiring" behaviour.

    The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie
    14:56: Miliband: General election question

    Mr Miliband says everyone in the conference hall "has a responsibility to try to explain why 45% of people voted Yes - 45% wanted to break up our country".

    He tells a story about a cleaner called Josephine he met during the campaign.

    Labour leader Ed Milliband

    "I don't know how Josephine voted in the referendum, but I do know that the question that she was asking - is anyone going to make life better for me and my family? It isn't just Josephine's question, it is the question that people are asking right across Britain...

    "That wasn't just the referendum question, that is the general election question."

    14:55: 'Clear, legal and decisive'

    Mr Rennie says the result on Friday was "clear, legal and decisive". As the first minister said the question of independence has been decided for a life time, Mr Rennie says.

    However, people have high hopes and the parties have their job cut out to meet them.

    14:55: 'Free, fair and open ballot' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Ruth Davidson: I understand "Yes" voters are feeling hurt, grief and loss. But to move on we need to acknowledge that the process was not flawed. This was a free, fair, open and decisive ballot. #indyref

    14:53: 'Biggest ever endorsement'

    Mr Rennie says two million votes is the biggest ever endorsement for a political decision in Scotland. The Scottish Lib Dem leader chastises Mr Salmond for his comments at the weekend in which he claimed No voters had been tricked.

    Mr Rennie says the Lib Dems proposed that the Scottish parliament raises most of the money it spends. He says they made these proposals two years ago; the party says that can be done within a federal structure.

    He says he hopes the SNP engage constructively with process of devolving new powers.

    14:52: 'Tremendous political skills'

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says he recognises Alex Salmond's "tremendous political skills".

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie

    Mr Rennie says this has been the most amazing democratic experience of his lifetime. He too endorses the votes for 16 and 17-year-olds.

    14:51: Miliband: 'Together we can'

    The Labour leader, speaking in Manchester, says the idea that won the referendum can be summed up in the word "together".

    "Together we can build a better future for the working people of Britain," he tells his party, perhaps echoing the "Yes we can" slogan of pro-independence campaigners.

    14:49: Straight off the political bat Carole Walker Political correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband appears to be speaking without notes/autocue but word perfect on sections briefed in advance.

    14:49: MSPs told to 'weesht'

    Ms Davidson says "We need to know that this government is going to stop the politics of grievance and make devolution work."

    The Tory leader's list of occasions that SNP ministers had said "only with independence" can something happen leads to voices of dissent who are told "wheesht" by the presiding officer.

    14:48: 'Sit this one out'

    Ms Davidson agrees with the first minister that the story of the referendum was "participation".

    People thought this discussion was too important to "sit this one out".

    The Tory leader also agrees that the lesson of the votes for 16 and 17-year-olds means it must now been looked at across the UK.

    She says the process of giving more powers is real. Will the SNP stop "sniping from the sidelines and get involved?", she asks.

    14:47: 'Credit to our nation' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Ruth Davidson says the referendum conversation has been a credit to our nation but the country must now move forward with common cause.

    14:46: Don't 'cry conspiracy'

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson says she understands many who voted for independence are feeling "grief and hurt". But she says that grief is not healed by crying conspiracy.

    Since Friday, we have three senior Nationalists saying there are other ways to declare independence, she says.

    14:45: 'Democratic will of voters' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont sounding rather angry as she suggests the SNP is not accepting the democratic will of voters, with talk of being "tricked".

    14:44: Miliband: Understand 'Yes' support

    Mr Miliband argues that Labour has to understand what motivated some people in Scotland to vote "Yes" to independence.

    He says people are asking: "Is anyone going to build a better life for the people of this country?"

    Mr Miliband says that was the real "referendum question" and the question being asked all over the UK.

    14:42: Salmond tribute

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson says she was 11-years-old when Alex Salmond first became leader of his party. She says the first minister has changed his party and Scottish politics.

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson

    We must accept that the majority has spoken, says Ms Davidson. The country must move forward with common cause, the Tory leader continues.

    This was a "free, fair and decisive ballot," she says.

    14:41: 'Not found wanting'

    "No-one believes Scottish politics can go to business as usual", says Johann Lamont.

    She says she enjoys shouting at people as much as anyone but that cannot be the way to do politics.

    The eyes of the world have moved on, she says. Scotland seemed like the centre of the universe when the world's media descended.

    They have moved on but the eyes of Scotland are still trained on us, says Ms Lamont.

    "Let us not lapse into the debates of the past and be found wanting."

    14:40: Miliband on Scotland

    "Our country nearly broke up," Labour leader Ed Miliband says. "A country that nearly splits apart is not one in good health."

    He thanks Labour politicians who "helped save our country", including Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont and Jim Murphy.

    14:39: 'Scotland at heart'

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont urges parliament to be a lively, energised place that invites people in and goes out to find out what people think.

    "I don't fear engaging with anyone who has the interest of Scotland at heart," she says.

    14:38: Miliband thanks 'Team Scotland'

    Ed Milliband thanks "Team Scotland" for the part it played in keeping the UK together following the Scottish referendum. He starts his thanks by mentioning Gordon Brown - a political figure he has been accused of missing out previously.

    Ed Miliband
    14:37: 'We need to move on' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont: We need to move on. We don't need anybody to hold out feet to the fire to make Holyrood stronger. #indyref

    14:35: Committed to new powers

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont says the people of Scotland will hold the politicians to the commitments on the new powers.

    She says she will work with the government on childcare and protecting the NHS from privatisation but calls for honesty from the Scottish government.

    Ms Lamont says the "enormity" of the referendum has taken the focus of things such as education and health. She says perhaps now we can go back to debating these issues. "We should discuss what we can do rather than what we can't," she says.

    She adds that land reform, "bold radical changes," is a journey that is not yet complete. The party's leader says this is an area where parties can come together to make a radical difference to people's lives.

    14:34: Miliband speech

    Labour leader Ed Miliband receives a standing ovation as he arrives on stage at the party conference in Manchester.

    14:33: 'Feet to the fire'

    Johann Lamont says "we need to move on" as there is consensus to do so.

    "We don't need anyone to hold our feet to the fire," over giving new powers to the Scottish Parliament, adds the Scottish Labour leader.

    14:31: 'Settled will of the people'

    Ms Lamont says she must recognise the amazing achievement of getting 1.6 million people to vote for independence. But she says it mustn't be forgotten that two million people voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    The UK is now the settled will of the Scottish people and the issue is firmly settled, she continues.

    Ms Lamont says she does not speak for the 45% or the 55% - she speaks for the 100% of the Scottish people.

    14:29: Voting change should be 'embraced' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont says votes at 16 should be embraced. #indyref

    14:27: Voting change strikes chord

    The Scottish Labour leader, who went to vote in the referendum with her 17-year-old son, said she had long supported votes at 16 and would agree with Mr Salmond that this should be brought in for all elections.

    Johann Lamont says the energy and passion was sometimes misplaced and became aggressive.

    It was not a few miscreants, she says. It was sometimes intimidating and that behaviour is entirely unacceptable.

    "Laying siege to the BBC for four hours" was not appropriate behaviour, the Scottish Labour leader adds.

    14:25: Salmond's political contribution

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont says there will be an opportunity at a later date to talk about the massive contribution that Alex Salmond has made to Scottish political life.

    Johann Lamont

    Ms Lamont says Scotland has voted No but politics can never go back to the way it was before.

    She is immensely proud of the young people in her party who were engaged in the argument and she knows that those on the other side of the political divide feel the same way.

    14:24: 'Peaceful, passionate discussion'

    "This land has been a hub of peaceful passionate discussion," says Mr Salmond.

    People have been enthused and energised like never before he says. There has been a generational change in attitudes to independence. Things will never be the same again, the first minister goes on.

    "All of Scotland will emerge the winner," Mr Salmond concludes.

    14:23: Devolution 'must boost growth'

    Scottish business leaders have issued a joint statement calling for any new devolution to focus on driving economic growth.

    Signatories include the Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, CBI, Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Building Federation.

    It says: "With the Scottish Parliament set to become a more powerful force in our economy, the touchstones of the new devolution settlement must be boosting business and growth.

    "It's also really important for business that whatever settlement is now agreed is stable and sustainable, and seen to be so."

    14:23: 'Politically engaged' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Alex Salmond: Scotland now has the most politically engaged population in Western Europe. #indyref

    14:21: Clamp down on violence

    Mr Salmond returns to the Treasury briefing on RBS in the run-up to the referendum, calling again for an inquiry.

    He also calls for the police to continue to crack down on "pre-arranged thuggery" on evidence in George Square on Friday.

    14:20: 'Three key tests' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Alex Salmond says "three key tests" for more powers: make Scotland more prosperous, fairer and with a stronger voice in the world. #indyref

    14:19: Job-creating powers

    The first minister says "any approvement of the devolution settlement" will require consent at Holyrood.

    He has three key tests:

    • Genuine job-creating powers
    • Address inequality
    • Give Scotland a voice on the world stage.
    14:18: Miliband speech

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine have just arrived at the party's conference in Manchester.

    Ed Miliband

    Mr Miliband is set to make an 80-minute speech.

    14:16: 'Restless for change'

    Mr Salmond quotes STUC leader Grahame Smith who said the people of Scotland are restless for change. Mr Salmond says the referendum debate engaged people in every community in the country.

    The SNP leader says everyone should support Lord Smith's commitment to proper consultation.

    Mr Salmond reels off a number of economic indicators to show that "Scotland was not on pause during the referendum campaign".

    He says, rather, it was "on fast forward".

    14:15: 'Energised people of this nation'

    Alex Salmond says he was surprised when David Cameron said on Friday that change in Scotland would be "in tandem" with change in the rest of the UK.

    The SNP leader says the statement yesterday was different from this, indicating they are showing signs of understanding that they must deliver their commitments to Scotland.

    "The true guardians of progress are the energised people of this nation," he says.

    14:12: Moving forward

    "Where do we move forward from here?" asks Mr Salmond.

    He says he believes strongly in the Edinburgh agreement and will stick to Section 30 which means he will accept the result and bring forward constructive proposals for the future.

    The outgoing first minister welcomes the appointment of Lord Smith, the head of the new commission on delivering more powers to Scotland.

    14:11: Lowering voting age?

    "There is not a shred of evidence now for saying 16 and 17-years-olds should not be allowed to vote," Mr Salmond says.

    They should be given the vote in all future elections, he argues.

    14:09: Salmond addresses MSPs at Holyrood

    And now the First Minister Alex Salmond is called on to make a statement. He says the presiding officer rightly identifies that the referendum was "exhilarating and empowering".

    Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond

    Mr Salmond says the turnout in 1997 referendum was 60%. Last week's referendum was 85% and both sides (except for a few miscreants) conducted themselves in a democratic manner. "It has brought us great credit nationally and internationally".

    Mr Salmond says there were a few "mainly Metropolitan" journalists who concentrated on the negative.

    14:07: 'Rippes of hope'

    The presiding officer shares words from Senator Robert Kennedy's "ripples of hope" speech.

    She quotes: "The essential humanity of man can be protected and preserved only where the government must answer - not just to the wealthy; not just to those of a particular religion, not just to those of a particular race; but to all of the people."

    14:04: 'Most deprived communities'

    The Scottish Parliament's presiding officer told MSPs "it cannot and must not be business as usual".

    She says: "It is for the political parties to make their own decisions about how they involve young people, those living in our most deprived communities and women in the future.

    "However, this parliament like other institutions in Scotland must also respond and I pledge to you and to our fellow citizens my determination to do so."

    14:02: 'Humbled by fellow Scots'

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick does not usually lead Time for reflection - it is a period in the parliament timetable normally taken by a speaker sharing a perspective on issues of faith.

    Leading Time for reflection today, Ms Marwick said: "I have been truly humbled by the clear wish of so many of our fellow Scots to be involved, many for the first time. How often have we heard people say they were not going to bother voting because it wouldn't make any difference?

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick

    "Not this time. Let us be clear about the scale of this unprecedented level of involvement and what it means for all of us. It is now for us to embrace and nurture that desire for political expression."

    Text 80295 14:00: Andy Murray - Your Views

    Alastair McKenzie in Bearsden: Andy Murray is entitled to his opinion and shouldn't receive abuse for it. However, he did himself no favours with the timing of it on the eve of the referendum. If he was going to wait until that late in the process he would have been better advised not to do it at all.

    13:56: Back to business

    MSPs are back at Holyrood for the first time since the independence referendum.

    The chamber session starts at 14:00 with Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick leading Time for Reflection.

    The main event of the day will be Alex Salmond's statement to the parliament following the No vote and the announcement of his resignation.

    This will be followed by a debate on the statement.

    13:55: 'Commitment and focus'

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has said agreeing further powers to be devolved to Scotland will "require commitment and focus on the part of all those involved".

    The Lib Dem MP was speaking after Lord Smith of Kelvin set out details of his Scotland Devolution Commission, which has been charged with drawing up proposals following the 'No' vote.

    Mr Carmichael said the process had "hit the ground running".

    Alistair Carmichael
    13:50: Key speeches

    We've got three big speeches coming up shortly:

    We'll bring you all the latest lines as we get them.

    @BBCGen2014 13:41: BBC Generation 2014

    Waiting for @AlexSalmond's speech at #Holyrood shortly. He is expected to call for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in future elections.

    13:30: 'Recipe for deadlock'

    A senior Labour MP has been questioned in detail about Scottish MPs being allowed to vote on laws that only affect England.

    Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn told the BBC Daily Politics show Labour was "prepared to look at" the issue. But he said there were other "anomalies" in the UK constitution, citing the example of London MPs voting on issues like transport that are devolved to the London Assembly.

    "You can't have two centres of power in a single Parliament," he adds, saying this would be "a recipe for deadlock".

    Hilary Benn
    @PeterMurrell 13:23: SNP chief executive Peter Murrell

    SNP chief executive Peter Murrell tweets: Sporting a new t-shirt for the occasion, this cheeky chap on my desk has a HUGE announcement. @theSNP 50,000 strong!!

    peter murrell
    13:18: Cool politics?

    With tennis star Andy Murray getting involved, and teenagers voting in their thousands, has the referendum made politics cool?

    Dr Lynn Bennie, on BBC Radio Scotland: "Up until now, politics has certainly not been cool. In the past few decades it's not been cool to be a party member, it's not been cool to be associated with a traditional party.

    "But this seems to be re-writing that relationship."

    13:08: 'Back pocket'

    On the SNP's increased membership figures, Prof Paul Cairney, professor of politics and public policy at Stirling University, tells BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie: "When you get into negotiations for so-called 'devo max', it's a good thing for the SNP to have in their back pocket to say 'our support is going through the roof, and if the negotiations do not go well then the rest of the parties will suffer'."

    12:57: 'Minority sport'

    Dr Lynn Bennie, a reader in Scottish politics at Aberdeen University, tells BBC Radio Scotland the high turnout in the referendum was "exceptional" as politics is still seen as a "minority sport".

    In total, 3,619,915 million people voted, making the turnout 84.5%.

    Text 80295 12:50: Referendum - Your Views

    Joe, Forres: We've got to be very careful that we don't get caught up in ourselves and our own issues, and become an inward-looking Scotland.

    Tony from Lanark: Andy Murray for first minister. He has belief and courage of his convictions. Inspirational guy. Cheers.

    Audrey: The No camp wheeled out a crowd of celebrities from Eddie Izzard to JK Rowling to tell us how to vote, yet as soon as Andy Murray expressed his opinion there was a howl of protest. Double standards?

    @bbcscotlandnews 12:45: Referendum - Get Involved

    Jim, Glasgow: Firstly, 16 & 17-year-olds should not have a vote. They are too young and inexperienced. Secondly, Andy Murray didn't need to apologise, he chose to do so. Thirdly, 62% of the electorate did not vote for independence.

    Bill: To Ben in Partick - I am 66-years-old and proud to vote Yes. Why should OAPs vote with fear? Their pensions were guaranteed by both sides. As OAPs we also have a responsibility to leave a better country and better future for our children and grandchildren. To be brutally honest, any changes to Scotland would not take place until 2020 and how many of those who voted will still be here then?

    12:39: 'Courage and compromise'

    The head of the new commission on delivering more powers to Scotland has warned it will "not be easy" to get agreement from the Scottish parties.

    Lord Smith said those involved in the talks would require "courage" and "compromise" - but he was confident they would rise to the challenge.

    Lord Smith of Kelvin

    The discussions on new powers for Holyrood are taking place after Scotland voted against independence.

    Draft legislation is due to be unveiled by the end of January.

    12:33: 'More powers' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Lord Smith asks Scotland's political parties to nominate representatives and submit ideas for his "more powers" commission. He says Scotland expects the parties to arrive at a consensus #indyref.

    12:31: 'Raring to go'

    When the Scottish Parliament returns this afternoon, Labour MSP Jenny Marra says she wants to see "a recognition... that Scotland voted to stay within the United Kingdom and how now we bring these more powers that were promised in the 'No' vote to the Scottish Parliament".

    The North East Scotland representative also tells BBC News Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont is "raring to go this afternoon" and "absolutely the person to lead us forward".

    Jenny Marra


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