Scottish independence: What is it like to live on a border?

Scottish border

What would life be like if there was an international border between Scotland and England?

It is one of the many issues to be explored before Scotland goes to the polls in September's independence referendum.

To find out how border economies work, BBC Scotland's economics correspondent Colletta Smith travelled to the UK's only international land border, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Rather than exploring the big macro-economic implications, she looked at the simple things - how people work, live and shop.

Watch this week's Reporting Scotland for more reports from the Irish border.

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High street shoppers

The first you notice about the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is that there is no border to see. The only way you can tell which side you are on is whether the speed limits are in miles or kilometres per hour.

But, the systems and prices are different on each side so there are bargains to be had by canny shoppers. Many from the Republic travel north for groceries, while those in Northern Ireland cross the border for petrol, as there is a lower fuel tax rate in the south.

In 2009, the ASDA store in Strabane, Northern Ireland, was taking around £2m a week, making it the sixth most profitable ASDA in the world. Much of that was from cross-border trade.

But the tide of shoppers can change direction, depending on the strength of the pound against the euro and what VAT and duty levels the chancellor announces in the budget.

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Tesco sign

For businesses there are hurdles to be negotiated: different currencies, regulations, and tax systems.

But, lots of companies still see the cost-saving benefits of operating from one headquarters to both sides of the border. Tesco and Coca Cola are just a couple of the big companies which supply the whole island from one main depot.

But Philip Gilliand from Londonderry Chamber of Commerce says it's harder for smaller companies.

"It's mainly for historical reasons, but there are still two separate markets with some interaction between them rather than one fluid market," he adds.

However, in 2010 £2.5bn in goods crossed the border.

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Tax form

For those who live in Newry, Enniskillen and Londonderry, or Letterkenny, Dundalk, and Monaghan, crossing the border between the UK and Ireland is part of daily life. For many people the day begins on one side and then they cross to the other for work.

Although very straightforward journey, there are tax implications. Each worker must pay tax in the country they earn most of their money, and then file a tax return in the country they live in to declare the income earned abroad.

It does cause headaches for many when the tax deadline looms. They are referred to as "frontier workers" by HMRC in the UK, which perhaps sounds a little "wild west".

For many it's simply a case of working in the town closest to their home - it just happens to be in another country.

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Scotland Decides

More Scotland politics stories


Referendum Live

    22:23: Latest polls

    Two new poll results have just been released.

    YouGov, for The Sun and The Times: Yes 48%, No 52%.

    Survation, for the Daily Record: Yes 47%, No 53%.

    The results are excluding don't knows, which were 6% in the YouGov poll, and 9% with Survation.

    22:19: 'Vital to understand'

    "The one thing which is absolutely vital to understand is that every independent commentator, every governor of the Bank of England, every representative of the Institute of Financial Studies is wrong according to Alex Salmond," Sir Menzies Campbell told the Big Show for No.

    22:15: Get involved

    Alan Gardener: I was a No voter who has been sickened at the negative and wholly biased "Stay together" campaign of alarmist, bullying, scaremongering, that I wondered just why it was suddenly so important that we "Stay Together" and are promised new powers all at the last minute. Don't believe a word of it. That's why the NO campaign has confirmed which way I will vote. I'm voting YES. A resounding, unequivocal YES.

    22:10: 'UK impact'

    Sir Menzies Campbell went on: "One of the things that offends me about this campaign is every time you hear a speaker on behalf of Yes, you never ever hear a word about the impact on Northern Ireland, Wales or England of the end of the United Kingdom."

    22:08: 'Envy of the world'

    "We have never had any civil war, we have never been invaded - in spite of Hitler's efforts - nor did we ever succumb to communism or fascism," added Sir Menzies Campbell.

    "And why is that? It is because this is a country based on democratic principles and the recognition of human rights and on the rule of law. It is a country which is emulated and copied throughout the whole of the rest of the world.

    "They envy us our system and that is a very significant reason why we should do everything in our power to preserve it."

    22:04: 'Successful union'

    Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell tells the Big Show for No in Edinburgh: "Ours is the most successful political union ever seen in the world - 300 years."

    Email: 22:01: Get involved

    James Martin: The UK is broken and Scots are tired of Westminster, not England. We are scarred with foodbanks, inequality, self-serving politicians and yet Scotland is expected to turn down the chance of a better future to sentimentally "not break the UK". We cannot accept a second-best future through fear of change.

    Email: 21:58: Get involved

    Patrick Marks: I can't see society suddenly becoming much fairer and free from poverty under independence and feel that there will be a period of turmoil as we suddenly discover how difficult it will be to change to the extent claimed by yes campaign.

    At present local authorities are facing huge cuts and this will not disappear with independence and I haven't heard yes explaining how they will plug the gaps in this area which affects the most vulnerable in society. Oil is not the panacea for everything. I'm afraid I feel that yes are telling untruths which will disappoint those voting for the first time when the changes promised don't materialise!

    21:53: A colourful No

    With hundreds of voters from Yes and No in George Square in Glasgow earlier, one No voter took the colourful approach with his bike.

    No bike
    21:51: 'Not about me'

    Mr Salmond added: "When the pages of books yet unwritten speak to generations yet unborn of this time and this place, our Scotland today. What story is it we will tell?

    "We are engaged with a conversation with our fellow citizens but we are also engaged in a conversation with the future.

    "The vote isn't about me, it isn't about the SNP, it it isn't about the Labour party or the Tories. It is about you - your family, your hopes your ambitions."

    21:44: 'Trust in ourselves'

    "The question of trust in this election is trust in ourselves," Mr Salmond says.

    An independent Scotland would "start as one of the richest countries in the world", he adds.

    21:43: 'Mass destruction'

    Independence would give Scotland the opportunity to remove the "obscenity of weapons of mass destruction" says Mr Salmond.

    21:41: 'Fallen apart'

    Mr Salmond says Westminster's offer of new powers for the Scottish Parliament has "fallen apart at the seams" with Conservative backbench MPs threatening to scupper the plans.

    21:39: 'Politically engaged'

    "We are now living in the most politically engaged country in western Europe", says Mr Salmond.

    He says the reaction from Westminster to the "people power" of the Yes campaign was "telling", saying an offer of new powers had been "cobbled together".

    21:39: 'In the bag'

    Mr Salmond says the three main Westminster parties agreed to the referendum "because they thought they had it in the bag".

    21:37: Campaign highlights

    Mr Salmond talked about his highlights of the campaign.

    He spoke about people in Dundee queuing up to register to vote in the independence referendum so they could vote Yes.

    21:31: 'Opportunity of a lifetime'

    Mr Salmond said: "Tomorrow is our opportunity of a lifetime. We are having this wonderful democratic experience because the Westminster parties agreed to it as they thought they had it in the bag. This is our opportunity of a lifetime and we must seize it with both hands."

    21:28: 'We are the underdogs'

    Mr Salmond talks about the success of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    He adds: "We meet here not to celebrate, not to presume. The latest poll has us on 49% - that means we are the underdogs in this campaign as we always have been."

    He then urges campaigners to campaign right until the close of polls at 10pm tomorrow night.

    21:23: 'Greatest campaign'

    Alex Salmond is now on the stage of the Yes rally at Perth Concert Hall. He called the Scottish independence referendum "the greatest campaign in Scottish democratic history."

    Alex Salmond
    21:20: 'Wonderful people'

    Ms Sturgeon added: "I have met wonderful people who are yes supporters, and I have met wonderful people who are No supporters.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    "We right now are engaged in a passionate, robust debate and that is how it should be.

    "On Friday, we cease to be the Yes campaign and the No campaign and we become one country moving forward united together."

    21:16: 'Control our future'

    Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at the Yes rally, said: "Here we are, standing on the cusp of our moment in history, standing on the eve each and every one of us in our country has tomorrow with a simple cross on a ballot paper - to take control of the future of our country into our own hands and to keep it there forever."

    21:14: 'Apathy is gone'

    Elaine C Smith, speaking at the Yes rally, tells the crowd: "What is wonderful is the engagement in politics, the engagement of people across the country talking about the issues that matter to them. That cynicism and apathy is gone."

    Elaine C Smith
    21:06: Patriotism call

    Labour MP Jim Murphy tells the crowd at the No rally in Edinburgh: "Patriotism isn't on the ballot paper".

    21:03: Yes rally James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Elaine C Smith addresses supporters in Perth to rapturous applause: "I'm only here because I want this place to be better." #indyref

    20:59: 'Ties that bind'

    Addressing the Big Show for No rally, Menzies Campbell added: "The ties that bind us are strong. They will be severely ruptured if the vote tomorrow is a vote for separation."

    20:57: Edinburgh rally

    The Better Together rally is taking place at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. Speakers include former Scotland rugby captain Gavin Hastings and comedian Rory Bremner.

    In his speech, former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell warned of Britons returning from fighting with extremists in Syria and Iraq, saying a "decoupling" of the security services in the event of a Yes vote would be a "distraction".

    20:55: 'Complete uncertainty'

    Rory Bremner, a performer at the Big Show For No, tells the BBC: "I'm not going to tell anyone which way to vote.

    "But all I know is what swung it for me is the knowledge that if we get a no vote on Friday morning we still have a currency, we are still a member of the European Union and there are powers which have been pledged for our parliament.

    "Whereas if we vote yes on Friday morning we wake up and we have complete uncertainty and that's what swung it for me."

    20:47: Boos in Perth James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Crowd here in Perth booing the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson who is in the gallery. Organisers trying to stop it.

    20:41: Family comes first Michael Buchanan Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

    Amid #indyref acrimony, a Yes activist on his plans for tomorrow. "Taking my 84 year old gran to vote No. She's my gran. Gotta respect her."

    20:35: Crowd grows James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Perth Concert Hall is filling up for the most important speech of Alex Salmond's career.

    Perth Concert Hall
    Email: 20:25: Get involved

    Joceyln Seligman: I can't stand the SNP talk of Scotland vs. the Westminster elite. Scotland's Edinburgh politicians are just as elitist and even less competent. Yes means dividing us from our friends, neighbours and cousins, losing our say in the UK and reducing our resources. The UK has made Scotland the great country it is today. I don't want to see Scotland diminished. I'm defiantly voting no.

    20:21: Start them young

    Some of the Yes supporters gathered in Perth may be a little too young to vote tomorrow.

    Young yes supporter
    20:07: Voting rights

    Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has said he does not believe there could be "two different classes of MP" in Westminster.

    Questions have been raised about whether Scottish MPs could vote on England-only issues in the event of a No vote and further devolution of powers to Holyrood.

    Mr Alexander told Channel 4 News: "There's no party proposing to take away the voting rights of Scottish MPs - that is not part of the agenda. It's not what's going to happen."

    20:03: The aftermath

    Author, playwright and Yes campaigner Allan Bissett says "history will judge Scotland on how we dealt with it afterwards".

    He told BBC News: "It is pretty important at this stage to weigh up the pros and cons and think carefully about your vote, but also think how we are going to deal with disappointment and with victory.

    "My feeling is both sides should agree to be generous in victory and gracious in defeat and then start to come back together."

    19:56: George Square

    Yes supporters - and some No campaigners - have amassed in Glasgow's George Square.

    Rally in George Square, Glasgow
    Email: 19:53: Get involved

    Klaus Buwert: A lot is made of the fact that a Yes vote will rid us of Westminster politicians and allow Scots to make decisions for Scotland in Scotland. What do Alex and Nicola do every day at Holyrood? And who pays them to do it? And if we loose our ties to Westminster what makes us think that Scottish politicians have a magic wand that will solve the problems that afflict every developed country in the west? Better the devil you know than jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! As David Cameron said, he'll not be Prime Minister for ever and his Government won't be in power for ever. I can wait.

    Email: 19:45: Get involved

    Peter Cummings: Westminster wants us to vote no and are therefore constantly bringing out scare stories. (Have you heard one positive statement from the NO camp ??? Currency Union is inevitable because it is in the interests of both parties. I'll be voting Yes.

    19:42: Postal probe Reevel Alderson BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

    Police Scotland have confirmed they are investigating a complaint that an electoral counting officer in Edinburgh has made public details of the postal ballots cast in the council area.

    No further details have been released. Completed postal votes must be received by local councils before ballots close tomorrow evening at ten o'clock. Edinburgh City Council says just under 90% of the postal ballots it sent out have been returned.

    19:36: Final flourish

    The Yes and No campaigns are staging some of their final events tonight.

    In Edinburgh, Rory Bremner is part of Better Together's Big Show For No.

    Rory Bremner

    While in Perth, Elaine C Smith was part of the preparations for Alex Salmond's final speech of the campaign.

    Elaine C Smith
    19:24: 'Few unaware'

    The closeness of the contest makes a high turnout even more likely, Prof Curtice says.

    "Very few people in Scotland can be unaware now that it could well be the case that their own vote will matter," he says.

    19:23: 'Mixed polls'

    Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, tells Reporting Scotland this afternoon's polls, from Panelbase and Ipsos Mori, contain mixed news for both campaigns.

    John Curtice

    He said: "On the one hand, encouragement for No, in the sense that we have five opinion polls all putting them ahead, but encouragement for Yes because the truth is, the lead being recorded by these opinion polls is too small for anyone to be certain what the result is actually going to be in little more than 24 hours' time."

    19:14: 'We're temporary'

    Jim Murphy tells Reporting Scotland: "Every politician is temporary. David Cameron, Ed Miliband, myself, Dennis (Canavan), and whisper it, even Alex Salmond is temporary.

    "All these folk are gone. Independence is forever."

    19:11: How others see us

    The BBC's Angie Brown met Welsh and Canadians on the campaign trail. What do they think of tomorrow's vote?

    18:58: 'Not about Salmond'

    "This is not a campaign to make Alex Salmond the great leader of Scotland," argues Dennis Canavan on Reporting Scotland.

    "This is not asking people to vote for Alex Salmond and it is not a vote for the SNP. It is a vote to give the people of Scotland the right to choose their own government."

    18:57: 'One issue'

    "On this one issue, the Conservatives are voting the same way as Labour," Jim Murphy says.

    "That doesn't make me a Tory any more than the Communist Party of Scotland campaigning with Alex Salmond makes Alex Salmond a Communist."

    18:56: 'Look again'

    "We're only 12 hours from the polls opening, and we don't know what currency we're going to use in an independent Scotland", Jim Murphy tells Reporting Scotland.

    He says a lot of voters who had planned to vote Yes will "look again" and decide to reject independence, "now there's a real prospect of it happening".

    18:55: 'Back of a fag packet'

    Dennis Canavan, also speaking on Reporting Scotland, commented: "Jim (Murphy)'s big problem is that his campaign has a huge credibility problem.


    "People simply don't believe all the stuff that has come out at the last minute about the possibility of additional powers. It sounds like something that has been written on the back of a fag packet."

    18:51: 'Want what's best'

    Labour MP Jim Murphy rejects the charge that the No campaign has been "utterly negative", telling Reporting Scotland: "The fact is that we love our country, both sides of this debate love our country, we both want what's best for our nation."

    18:46: 'Two options' Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    Those who support independence say that independence would energise the people and empower them to produce a prosperous Scotland. On the other side, those who support the union say that the genuine patriotic perspective for the people of Scotland is to have a more powerful parliament within the union.

    Those two options go before the people - a momentous, monumental decision - but the people will choose, not the politicians.

    18:40: Some last minute thoughts Nick Robinson Political editor

    I have never seen a campaign like this. The whole of my life, people have told me: "Politics - it is a bit boring". Not here, not now.

    If you live in Accrington or Aberystwyth or Antrim, wherever you are in England or Wales, or Northern Ireland, I can see why it might be a little bit baffling. Forgive me, it may even be a bit boring at times.

    It is not like that here. Why? Because for those who are going to vote Yes tomorrow, this is the end of a huge journey for them - a journey of decades for people like Alex Salmond. A journey from being a mere country to a self-governing nation, a nation that takes her own decisions and has to live with them.

    If you are the No campaign, it is the end of something so treasured, so valid and today Gordon Brown seemed to discover the belief, the passion, the Scottish which so far seemed to elude that campaign which was rather duller, rather greyer, rather less inspiring than the rest.

    Ponder this if you are watching outside of Scotland - it will take around one and a half, two million votes of Scots to win this referendum. That is 4% of the British electorate. Whichever way it goes, it will change the lives not just of the rest of the people here but of the 96% watching elsewhere.

    18:35: Reporting Scotland

    A 60-minute Reporting Scotland is under way covering the final stages of the referendum campaign.

    You can watch it live here.

    18:32: Analysis James Landale Deputy political editor

    I think the direction is clear, the detail is not.

    The leaders of the three largest parties in the UK have promised that Scotland will get more powers over its tax, spending and welfare.

    They have promised to publish draft legislation in January to make this happen.

    But the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and Labour all have different ideas about what this might mean in practice.

    18:28: 'Good experience'

    Chief Counting Officer Mary Pitcaithly admitted she would be "slightly nervous" on the big day.

    "I just want everybody to have a really good experience on polling day," she said. "No impediments to voting, everything goes smoothly when they turn up to vote. And then we get an accurate result that everybody can trust."

    18:16: 'Myth dispelled' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    The people of Scotland have one more night to ponder, one more night to weigh up what to do.

    And whatever happens, a myth has been dispelled.

    They say people don't care about politics - they are wrong.

    18:10: Referendum Tonight

    Join Graham Stewart from 23:00 this evening for BBC Radio Scotland for Referendum Tonight.

    This evening we'll round up the final day's campaigning, keep you across the last of the opinion polls and explain the timescale and procedure of what happens next. Graham will be looking at how the debate and the issues have inspired songwriters and we look back on a long, long campaign with our Referendum A-Z.

    That's Referendum Tonight on 810 medium wave and on digital radio between 23:00 and midnight.

    Email: 18:01: Get involved

    Christopher Stone: I find it amazing that people are even allowed to vote on a proposition where the impacts are not clear; like whether Scotland can stay in the EU yes or no, or whether the currency can be shared yes or no. And I find it even more amazing that the Scottish people themselves are prepared to vote rather than ask first what the impact would be. Sheer lunacy on all sides!

    17:54: A Question of Sport

    What might an independent Scotland mean for our country's sportsmen and sportswomen? Matt Slater takes an in depth look.

    Lynsey Sharp, Andy Murray, Michael Jamieson
    Email: 17:51: Get involved

    Mahesh Patel: The Scottish people should view independence as an opportunity to thrive and not fear any consequence of isolation. An independent Scotland can easily become one of the most prosperous, advanced and dynamic countries in the world. People should believe in themselves and not fear a reliance on others for self security.

    It has ample knowledge base, resource and know how to invest and build a country vastly powerful, self determined and independently influential. Initial problems are merely a short time frame for adjustment into the new era. Small in geography but huge in diversified economic industrial and social potential wealth. Believe in your long term rise and rise. Its on your doorstep, now!

    Email: 17:49: Get involved

    Jim Jarvis: As a passionate Scot, who up until recently has been undecided, my heart has been crying out for Mr Salmond and the Yes campaign to provide answers to the fundamental questions on currency, EU, economy etc. that will convince my head to allow me to vote Yes tomorrow. Disappointingly the Yes campaign has spent the past weeks focussing on appealing only to the hearts of voters and appears to have actively avoided answering those questions. For such a momentous decision the head must win over the heart and without these answers I for one cannot take the massive leap of faith and accept Mr Salmond's big smile and his "trust me" approach, there is too much to lose.

    17:44: 1992 repeat?

    Who is this good looking politics student in 1992? Did his star lecturer expect the General Election opinion polls that year to be so badly wrong? And could the polls be wrong again tomorrow?

    Jamie McIvor

    Find out more on Scotland 2014 on BBC Two Scotland at 10pm. No promises, but we may also discover what happened to Jamie McIvor's boyish good looks.

    Email: 17:41: Get involved

    Richard Benzie: I'll have on the kilt for my trip to the polling station tomorrow. I feel that I may well be mistaken for a 'Yes' voter but, on the contrary, I decided to vote 'No, thanks' at an early stage. Why the kilt? I'm proud to be Scottish AND proud to be British. Don't let the 'Yes' campaign shame 'No' voters into thinking that they are anything other than proud Scots. We all are!

    17:30: 'Fantastic atmosphere'

    Alex Salmond has told the BBC that people have moved to the Yes campaign because of the positive message contrasting to the negative message of the No campaign.

    He said the decision was now in the hands of the people of Scotland and there was "no safer place for it to be."

    "We're feeling very positive because it's a very fantastic atmosphere," he said. "And it's really a celebration of democracy we're having in Scotland. People are so excited about the prospect of having Scotland's future in Scotland's hands."

    17:22: STV poll

    Following the Panelbase poll results (16:04), a poll by Ipsos MORI for STV has No on 51% and Yes on 49%, with undecideds excluded.

    With don't knows included, the figures are No - 49%, Yes 47% and Don't Knows 5%.

    Email: 17:17: Get involved

    Michael: I'm English, 50 now, lived in Scotland since 10. Was a no for so long. But think I'm going yes. Don't expect us to be better off at all for years, think it will get much worse for years before it gets better. But in end, think we'll benefit from no elitist Westminster rule, in the end it will be better. Voting for kids not me.

    17:05: 'No going back'

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said tomorrow's vote in the Scottish independence referendum is "the most important vote any of us will cast in our lifetime".

    She commented: "We are not being asked to pick a government for five years, but to choose whether or not to break our country apart forever. There will be no going back after a Yes vote.

    Ruth Davidson

    "But the risks of separation are risks that we don't have to take as a country. Change is coming - sweeping new powers to put the Scottish Parliament in charge of tax and welfare. But we will ensure that change doesn't come at the cost of our security and prosperity."

    Email: 17:00: Get involved

    Barry, Edinburgh: The numbers don't add up. How can a country of 5.5 million people with only half of working age and paying tax fund a standalone economy? I just don't see anything other than us being worse off with a yes vote.

    16:56: 'Flimsy and meaningless'

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the pledge from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to give further powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote is "flimsy and meaningless".

    She claims the offer has fallen apart after some backbench MPs voiced their disapproval of the offer.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon said: "Despite the fact the 'vow' doesn't guarantee a single power, it has taken less than 24 hours to fall apart - Tory MPs are already up in arms about it. They are desperate to grip onto power over Scotland and - in the event of a No vote - they would not let it go."

    Email: 16:53: Get involved

    Laura Brown: As someone who lives near Faslane, whose father is contracted at said base, whose family was in the MOD and who was in the Universities Royal Naval Unit myself, I can assure you that I am not voting against the UK or England. I have huge respect for what our countries have achieved together, and have friends and family across the Border as most Scots do. I owe the UK a lot!

    But I'd argue that the majority of those voting Yes are not doing so with 'dislike'. We are voting so that Scots have full control of what happens in our country. That doesn't change our respect for the rest of the UK.

    16:50: Overseas view

    Read the thoughts of Ailsa Henderson, a Canadian who now lives and works in Edinburgh, and the Moulisovas, who moved to Glasgow from the Czech Republic in 2007.

    Ailsa Henderson
    Michal and Vladimira Moulisova

    What do they think about the Scottish Independence Referendum?

    Email: 16:41: Get involved

    Jane Clark: The anti-English sentiment is disappointing and likely to cause a post-referendum backlash. What will the English have to lose by driving a really harsh bargain with Salmond if Scotland breaks away? Will rUK voters let our politicians play nicely with a nation that feels free to insult us at will?

    16:35: Confidence is the keynote Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    The final day and confidence is the keynote on either side. Certainly, that was so at the two competing rallies I attended in Glasgow.

    At the Yes event in the city's Buchanan Street, the talk was of empowering a generation. The talk was of enabling Scotland to build a more prosperous and just society.

    At the Better Together event in Maryhill Community Hall, the talk was of the true patriotic option being a No vote, blending more powers with continuity in a reformed UK.

    Also in our end is our beginning. Each side seeks to identify and challenge a core weakness in their opponents' pitch.

    Read Brian Taylor's full blog.

    16:29: The Parliament that never was

    BBC Scotland's Jamie Ross looks at how the First World War ended hopes of a bid for Scottish home rule.

    First World War
    16:26: Campaign coverage

    The campaigning appears to have got everywhere, as this image of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh shows.

    Yes campaign
    Email: 16:18: Get involved

    Lynette Smee: I have seen first hand what the austerity measures have done to the poorest in Glasgow, schools and community organisations shut down and replaced by foodbanks. This is what the union has done, this is how they invest in its amazing young people. Only with a yes vote can we really invest in children and young people. The yes campaign started this by giving 16 and 17 year olds a political voice. This is a truly wonderful thing.

    16:13: Latest debate

    BBC Scotland News tweets: .@BBCRadioScot #Newsdrive is on air. Tune in for #indyref latest, as both sides in debate make final attempt to win over undecided voters.

    16:10: Are the polls correct?
    16:09: Late shift

    Don't forget that the Referendum Live team will continue to bring you all today's major campaign news and views until late tonight.

    16:04: Panelbase poll

    The latest poll from Panelbase has the Yes side on 48% and No on 52%, excluding undecided voters.

    Including undecided voters, the figures were Yes - 45%, No - 50% and Undecided - 5%.

    The Panelbase results are the same as three polls released yesterday. Opinium for the Daily Telegraph, another by ICM for the Scotsman and a third by Survation for the Daily Mail all had No on 52% and Yes on 48% with undecided voters excluded.

    Read about all the latest polls in our poll tracker.

    15:58: Margaret Burgess MSP

    tweets: Undecided voters switching to Yes at our @Yes_N_Ayrshire stall today.

    Yes supporters
  80. 15:52: Your Views

    David Cox emails: Right down to the wire Alex Salmond is dismissing out of hand any comment, criticism or alternative argument to independence as bullying, interference, insulting the Scottish people. There are huge numbers in the United Kingdom with genuine and serious concerns about the prospect of a 'Yes' vote for all of us, Scottish and English, Welsh and Northern Irish. We would like our views treated with respect too!

    Peter Lennie emails: The threats have started already, Clegg wants changes in what Scottish MPs at Westminster can vote on. How long have English MPs been voting on Scottish business?

    Sandy, Edinburgh, emails: I am a No voter. However, I have just heard Gordon Brown's latest speech. It was poor. It might make others who are undecided vote Yes.

    15:42: An age old issue

    In this interactive video, find out more about the issue of pensions and how the issue has impacted the referendum debate.

    15:34: Kezia Dugdale MSP

    tweets: Big thumbs up for #nothanks in Porty this afternoon

    No supporters campaigning
    15:31: A question of jobs

    As figures today suggest unemployment is still falling in Scotland, the BBC's David Henderson explores one of the most important issues of the Scottish independence referendum - jobs.

    Job centre
    15:23: Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Voters hopes and fears on #MorningCall with @lwhitemedia is an absolutely great listen today.

    You can listen to the programme by clicking on the Live Coverage tab above.

    Email: 15:21: Get involved

    Allan, Aberdeen: Regardless of which side you are on, be it Yes or No, the one thing that the Scottish independence referendum has brought to the fore is a level of political engagement, debate and inclusion never before seen within the UK and even across the world. I just hope that the result, whatever it may be, is accepted graciously by all parties involved both now or in any future negotiations.

    15:19: Step back in time

    We've been delving through the BBC film archive and found this news clip of the opening of the new Scottish Parliament in the summer of 1999. Watch Scotland's first, first minister, the late Donald Dewar, make his vow along with Scotland's current First Minister, Alex Salmond, who added an extra line to his promise of allegiance.

    Donald Dewar
    15:18: George Square gathering

    Pro-independence supporters have gathered this afternoon in Glasgow's George Square. The Yes campaign's last big rally takes place tonight in Perth.

    Yes campaigners in George Square
    15:07: Unemployment figures

    Responding to news earlier that unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000 between May and July, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said: "Today's unemployment news is welcome, although work obviously still needs to be done to bring the rate down further.

    "What is undoubtedly clear is how unwise it would be to risk instability by separating from the rest of the UK at this point.

    "With the UK economy predicted to grow it is clearly in Scotland's interest to remain part of the UK so we can share the benefits of the economic recovery."

    Email: 15:01: Get involved

    Douglas Scott: I'm a yes voter but think that was Gordon browns finest hour. If I were undecided that might just have convinced me to go for NO.

    Simon West: Stand firm Scotland. Would you rather be ruled in Scotland by politicians you can hold to account or from England, by elitists who manipulate democracy for their own ends, as we are seeing now?

    15:00: From the vanguard to the verge

    How did Scotland go from being at the vanguard of the spread of the British Empire to the verge of independence? Emily Maitliss explores the issue in this short film.

    English and Scottish flags
    Text 80295 14:50: Your Views

    Susan, Neilston: Scotland is promised additional powers if it's a 'No' vote, but these powers will have to be ratified by Westminster and MPs are already rebelling. The leaders cannot guarantee it can be delivered.

    Alex, Aberdeen: Change does not mean progress, a Yes vote would be many steps back for our wonderful country. Don't let blind hatred of the English get in the way of reason. A Yes would ruin Scotland. Salmond is not being honest about the oil, vote No.

    David, Devon: David Cameron promised the UK "the greenest government ever". Now we have fracking and new nuclear. Promises of powers for Scotland? Not worth the paper they are written on.

    Anon: There's only three points to this debate: 1. Is it affordable? Yes! 2. Are we able in intellectual terms? Yes! 3. Do we want it enough? this space...!

    14:48: The social vote BBC Trending What's popular and why

    Data released by Facebook yesterday showed a lead for the "Yes" campaign in terms of "interactions" on the network. But does this kind of social media data really tell us anything useful about how people will vote? Read our analysis.

    14:40: Battle of the ads

    Adverts have been placed in many of today's newspapers by both sides of the campaign - here's a selection.

    14:36: Clegg: Change Scottish MP rules

    Changes to the rules on Scottish MPs voting on England-only measures should be brought in at the same time as Scotland gets more control over tax and spending, Deputy PM Nick Clegg says.

    nick clegg

    Allowing Scottish MPs to vote on English matters "is simply not fair", the Lib Dem leader told LBC Radio.

    UK leaders have promised new powers to Scotland if there's a No vote. But First Minister Alex Salmond says only independence would deliver the powers Scotland needs.

    14:02: Prime Minister's nerves

    David Cameron admitted he was concerned that the United Kingdom could be on the verge of breaking up.

    The Prime Minister said: "Everyone who cares about our United Kingdom, and I care passionately about our United Kingdom, is nervous.

    "But I'm confident we've set out how Scotland can have the best of both worlds - a successful economy with a growing number of jobs."

    13:54: Cameron: I won't quit

    Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted he will not quit if there is a Yes vote.

    david cameron

    Mr Cameron said he will continue to fight "passionately" for a No vote but will remain in Downing Street regardless of tomorrow's result.

    He said: "My name is not on the ballot paper. What's on the ballot paper is, does Scotland want to stay in the United Kingdom or does Scotland want to separate itself from the United Kingdom.

    "That's the only question that will be decided on Thursday night. The question about my future will come at the British general election coming soon."

    13:23: From empire to independence?

    We could be on the brink of the end of the United Kingdom as we know it.

    It is fair to say that Britannia no longer rules the waves - and hasn't for many decades - but what might independence for Scotland mean in years to come?

    English and Scottish flags

    And how did Scotland go from being at the vanguard of the spread of the British Empire to the verge of independence?

    Emily Maitlis reports for Newsnight.

    13:04: Surgeons back 'No' Eleanor Bradford BBC Scotland Health Correspondent

    Orthopaedic surgeons have signed a letter saying there is no risk of privatisation if people vote 'No' in tomorrow's referendum.

    The organisers of the letter say at least half of all the orthopaedic surgeons in Scotland are concerned about privatisation of the NHS being used as an argument for voting 'Yes'.

    About 85% of respondents said they might not be able to deliver the same standard of care to their patients after independence, and 90% thought there would be difficulty recruiting the same quality of clinical staff.

    Email: 12:53: Your views

    Alex, Laurencekirk: If your heart says one thing and your head says another trust your heart as both sides have been trying to manipulate your head.

    12:46: Yes or No... Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    On the last day of Scottish independence referendum campaigning, this is the view in Inverness.


    Colourful placards for Yes and No are tied to many lampposts in the city centre.



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