Scottish independence: Salmond scoffs at UK letter

ALEX Salmond has dismissed a Westminster pledge to enhance Scotland’s powers after a No vote as a “last minute desperate offer of nothing”.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg made the vow in a signed letter which appears on the front page of the Daily Record newspaper.

First Minister Alex Salmond has called a letter signed by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg as a 'desperate offer of nothing'. Picture: Robert Perry

First Minister Alex Salmond has called a letter signed by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg as a 'desperate offer of nothing'. Picture: Robert Perry

The First Minister insisted the promise of extensive new powers for the Scottish Parliament would not dent the Yes campaign and raised questions about how binding the pledge is.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “This so-called vow that has been in the Daily Record, I suspect it’s been called a vow because the last time one of these leaders made a pledge and signed the pledge was the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg when he signed a pledge that he wouldn’t have tuition fees and then promptly put them up to £9,000 for English students in England.

“It’s a classic example of how this last minute desperate offer of nothing is not going to dissuade people in Scotland from the huge opportunity of taking Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands this coming Thursday.”

Labour’s Douglas Alexander said the pledge sets out a vision that can unite Scotland.

The shadow foreign secretary told BBC Breakfast: “Here in Scotland, we have been talking about these powers for many months.

“What we’re saying today on the front page of the Daily Record is that we can have the best of both worlds. We can have a stronger Scottish Parliament but with the strength, stability and security of the United Kingdom.

“My sense is that in the closing days, the final hours of this referendum campaign, that vow that we can have faster, safer, better change is actually a vision around which Scotland can unite.”

Mr Alexander added: “I think the Yes campaign are struggling. They had an avalanche of facts engulf their assertions last week, when it was announced every major Scottish bank would move their registered office to London.

“We’ve had a company like Standard Life confirming that it would move operations south. The economic risks suddenly became very real last week.

“At the same time, we’re offering what I believe most of us here in Scotland want - faster, safer and better change.”

In today’s letter, the party leaders say they agree that “the UK exists to ensure opportunity and security for all by sharing our resources equitably across all four nations”.

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