News Release from Sandra Osborne MP: 12 January 2013
‘Better Together’ is the message at Ayr Town Hall
Local MP Sandra Osborne chaired a packed meeting in Ayr Town Hall last week to hear the Rt. Hon Alistair Darling argue the case why Scotland would be better staying within the United Kingdom. The meeting which was part of a Scotland wide tour by Alistair Darling, the Leader of Better Together, was attended by students from local secondary schools; local MSP and councillors; voluntary organisations and community and business representatives from South and East Ayrshire.
“It was very important to hear Alistair Darling raise the legitimate questions that the SNP have so far refused to answer. I was also impressed at the wide ranging thoughtful contributions from the audience, especially from the senior pupils, most of whom will have a vote in the Referendum come the time”
In his speech, Alistair Darling said he was leading this campaign because he was proud to be Scottish and the future of Scotland matters to him greatly.
“There are three reasons why we are better together in the UK. Firstly the emotional, cultural, and often family ties we have with our neighbours throughout the UK. Last year’s Olympics highlighted this. Secondly, the influence we have as part of a larger country. The UK is a member of the Security Council of the UN; has a seat at the top table in the World Bank and IMF and is one of the major partners in the EU. I know from my years of involvement at these levels it is the big countries that have real influence. Thirdly the economy – there are no barriers to trade throughout the UK at the moment, The Financial Services industry for example is based in Scotland but sells mostly into England, The bread and butter issues of the economy are crucial.”
“I believe people will come to realise that the referendum isn’t like elections to Holyrood or the UK Parliament where you can vote in a government for 5 years and kick them out if you don’t like them, The SNP only have to win once. This is a decision about the future of Scotland for at least 300 years. There is no going back, so we are entitled to ask the SNP searching questions which they seem reluctant to answer. If you ask Mr Salmond questions you are accused of being negative. It is not good enough to have to wait till the end of 2013 to hear what they plan – the SNP have had 80 years to work out what they mean by independence. For example, the SNP Government keep changing their mind on whether Scotland should have a separate currency. If a separate Scotland opts for a single currency in the UK it will mean budgets have to be agreed by everyone in that single currency- in other words Scotland’s budget will be subject to the agreement of the bigger partner England. This might be necessary but it isn’t sovereignty”
Answering questions on further devolution to the Scottish Parliament, Mr Darling reminded the audience that in 2016 the Scottish Parliament will take on powers to set taxation in Scotland and will also have the power to borrow and set Land Tax.
“These further powers were agreed by consensus and received very little publicity. All political parties will have to set out in their manifestos for the next UK election what further devolution they support and propose. But first we must decide whether Scotland is better in the UK or going it alone.”
For more information log on to www.bettertogether.net