Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon says Yes vote an opportunity for all

nicola sturgeon at glasgow central mosque Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Sturgeon visited Glasgow Central Mosque as part of her campaign for a Yes vote

Nicola Sturgeon has said that independence offers an "opportunity for all sectors of Scottish society".

The deputy first minister also suggested people were "waking up" to independence being a chance to build a fairer society.

She was speaking on a visit to Glasgow Central Mosque.

Labour spokeswoman Jackie Baillie argued that the nationalists were making claims on welfare which simply do "not add up".

However, Ms Sturgeon said independence was an inclusive offer which could benefit all sectors of society.

Elsewhere in the campaign . . .

  • Liberal Democrat councillor Drew Millar announces he will be voting "Yes" to Scottish independence, going against his party's stance. Mr Millar said: "I will be voting Yes because I believe Scotland deserves to get the government it votes for in order to ensure its future success. We can be a successful, independent country with the government the people of Scotland choose in place."
  • Former chief of M16 Sir John Scarlett writes in The Times that an independent Scotland's plan to have a single security and intelligence service would not offer the same level of protection and support being a part of the UK currently provides.Sir John said: "In my view, the Scottish Government proposals will not offer the level of protection and support currently provided by the highly-sophisticated British security and intelligence agencies."

She said: "It is about the people of Scotland, all of us, taking our future into our own hands.

"Here at Glasgow Central Mosque and across all of Scotland's communities, people are waking up to the opportunity of independence to build a fairer society, to support our young people with greater job opportunities and to protect our public services like the NHS.

"Scotland's success on the world stage is built on innovation and a rich and diverse cultural heritage - that outward-looking and inclusive approach will blossom on the world stage with a Yes vote and independence.

"In Scotland there are families from Pakistan and Poland, India and Ireland, England and Italy, and people from many other parts of the world living, working and making a positive contribution to modern Scotland - this is something worth celebrating."

Labour and the Better Together campaign have claimed an independent Scotland would face spending cuts which would place a strain on welfare budgets.

Image caption Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says the SNP's welfare claims "don't add up"

Ms Baillie said: "The welfare state is one of the UK's proudest achievements. It was founded on the basis of need, not nationality, so that those who fall on hard times get the support they need.

"To make that founding principle a reality we need to be able to fund our welfare state. Independence puts that at risk. The experts at the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies are clear that leaving the UK would mean an extra £6bn of cuts.

"The SNP's welfare claims simply don't add up. Alex Salmond needs to tell people in Scotland how his welfare promises would be paid for when independence would bring about austerity plus."

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