Leading campaigners out in force

A wall in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, as the independence referendum campaign continues

A wall in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, as the independence referendum campaign continues

First published in National News © by

Leading figures from both sides of Scotland's independence referendum campaign will be out in force with just two weeks to go until the vote.

Labour leader Ed Miliband will join the Better Together campaign trail in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, where he will argue that a Labour government next year will provide the change Scotland needs rather than ''erecting a new border'' with independence.

The SNP's Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will take to Glasgow city centre to set out their vision for independence over the next decade, as they mark their 10-year anniversary as the party's leadership team.

Elsewhere, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will give a speech outlining her arguments for why she believes a No vote will benefit defence.

Mr Miliband's appearance comes amid nationalist claims that growing numbers of Labour supporters are to vote Yes on September 18, with Mr Salmond saying last week that ''hundreds of thousands'' could do so.

The SNP has been trying to woo Labour supporters with the message that independence could revive the party - which has been out of power at Holyrood since 2007 - north of the border.

Mr Miliband, who will be joined by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, will say: ''Electing a Labour government is the way to change Scotland. It is the way to build a just Scotland.''

The Labour leader will insist his party can improve social justice across the UK, contrasting that with Mr Salmond's plan to cut corporation tax if there is a Yes vote.

''The choice in this referendum campaign is not about change with Yes or more of the same with No,'' he will say.

''It is what kind of change you want.

''The change we need to build a fairer country with Labour, or the change of erecting a new border which is the only ambition of nationalists.''

With a UK general election taking place next year, Mr Miliband will insist his party is on the verge of returning to power at Westminster.

In contrast, Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon will argue that a "Yes vote is the opportunity of a lifetime to use the wealth of Scotland to create a more prosperous and fairer country".

Speaking in advance of a campaign visit to Glasgow, Mr Salmond said: "As we enter the last two weeks of this campaign more and more people are switching from No to a Yes vote because they're waking up to the gains of controlling the key decisions that affect life in Scotland.

"The 2024 Yes vision is of a society where everyone has the chance to get on in life and where opportunities are for the many not the few."

"In an independent Scotland we'll always get the governments people vote for.

"We'll be able to protect our NHS from the impact of Westminster privatisation and cuts and we'll have the job-creating powers of independence to build a more secure economy.

"With a No vote, by 2024 tax-payers in Scotland will be paying towards the £4 billion annual costs of a new generation of nuclear weapons on the Clyde. That's No vision from the No campaign.

"Independence isn't a magic wand but with a Yes vote we can take different choices."

But David Cameron urged Scots to focus on the "risks there are of separating" as he said he would be making more interventions in the campaign.

The Prime Minister, who was in Scotland last week, told Sky News: "I have played my role in the campaign and I will be making other interventions in that campaign.

"I hope people will really focus now on the risks there are of separating and focus instead on the bright future they have, I believe, as part of a family of nations in the UK.

"Scots have a chance of the best of both worlds - more government from Edinburgh, more devolution to Edinburgh, while being part of a bigger United Kingdom."

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