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Friday, 12 September 2014

‘Get Out The Vote’ event: Brown, Miliband & Lamont

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, and Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Johann Lamont will deliver speeches to the Labour Party’s ‘Get Out The Vote’ event at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tonight. The event comes ahead of Labour activists campaigning in every part of Scotland over the weekend with a clear message: overcome the division that too often Alex Salmond has promoted by voting ‘no’ for faster, better, safer change for a stronger Scotland, not huge risks to our NHS with ‘yes’.

Gordon Brown is expected to say: "This is the week that locked in faster, better, safer change for a stronger Scotland in the United Kingdom. On Monday I proposed a timetable for new powers for a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK. Let me be clear that all pro-devolution parties in Westminster and Holyrood have now agreed with our delivery plan. So no one should be in any doubt that Labour’s initiative, led by Ed Miliband and Johann Lamont, means better change, faster change, and safer change than that sought by the nationalists, and it is change that I believe the vast majority of Scots can support and change that can bring Scotland together.

Further devolution rather than separation offers better change. We will have a stronger Scottish Parliament with more powers from tax to services, but will also continue to benefit from being part of the UK when it comes to defence and security, the currency, the pooling and sharing of our resources with our friends, neighbours and family in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. And by sharing across the 63 million people of the UK rather than just 5 million people in Scotland, we can guarantee UK-wide rights to a pension, assistance when unemployed, fully funded healthcare free at the point of need and minimum standards of protection at work, including a UK-wide minimum wage.

Our plan for a stronger Scottish Parliament offers faster change, because the pro-devolution parties will deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament with determination and speed beginning the day after the referendum. And we will in fact do so quicker than the SNP could ever secure independence. Our stronger Scottish Parliament offers safer change, as further powers will be delivered without the chaos and instability of the SNP’s uncertainty on the currency, threat to default on Scotland’s share of the debt and inability to explain how they would cope with a £6 billion public spending hole when we lose the Barnett formula and the UK welfare state.

These proposals offer change that I believe is more in tune with the wishes of the Scottish people – who want stronger powers on tax and welfare for the Scottish Parliament to enable us to make decisions on our own, but who do not want the risks of an irreversible break with the United Kingdom."

Ed Miliband is expected to say: "As we enter the last days of this campaign, the choice for the people of Scotland is clearer than ever before. Change with no or huge risks with yes. With a vote for NO, change is coming with more powers on tax and welfare for a stronger Scotland. Change is coming faster with a devolution delivery plan beginning the day after the referendum. And with yes, there is a risk to people's jobs, to people's livelihoods and to the institutions and ties which we cherish and which bind our country together. And tonight I want to focus on one institution, one symbol of how we pool our resources for the greater good.

A symbol of our solidarity. A symbol of how we treat people fairly whoever they are, wherever we live. That symbol, that institution is the NHS. In 2013, I met a delegate to Labour Conference, Cathy Murphy from Glasgow. She fell ill in Liverpool in 2011. Her life was saved at Liverpool Broad Green Hospital. And she has been going back there for check-ups ever since. She is one of 43,000 Scots who travel to England for healthcare each year, often for lifesaving treatment. And there are thousands of English people going the other way. We have heard this week from 200 practitioners in the NHS who warned that with separation, patients would be put at the back of the queue for the services they need. And we have also heard from Mark Carney about the £21bn that would have to be cut from spending in an independent Scotland to pay for Alex Salmon's lack of a currency plan.

Be in no doubt what this means. Over £1 billion a year would be the NHS's share of those cuts, the equivalent of 36,000 nurses. That is the real threat to NHS. When better, faster, safer change is coming that's not a risk anyone who loves the NHS should take. One of the proudest achievements of our movement and our solidarity is our National Health Service. The NHS is stronger if we stay together. Stronger because of the resources of the whole UK. Stronger because we share world class services. Stronger because people travel from Scotland to England and England to Scotland for life saving treatment. There is real risk to that NHS in separation. A risk of a weaker NHS, not backed by the resources of the whole UK. This shows why we are better together. Better change, faster change, safer change is our offer for Scotland. And better change, faster change, safer change is the message we will take onto the streets and the doorsteps in the last few days of the campaign."

Johann Lamont is expected to say: "For the second time this year, the eyes of the world are on Scotland. Six weeks ago, people came to this city for the Commonwealth Games and they saw a modern, outward-looking and welcoming country which was united in celebrating what we have in common. The eyes of the world are on Scotland again and what do they see now: They see a man who says his plan is to divide the United Kingdom, instead doing whatever he can to divide Scotland. They see his narrow nationalism replacing patriotism, intolerance replacing debate and disunity replacing solidarity.

We see a movement which claims to love all things Scottish - that is except any Scot who has the audacity to disagree or challenge them. We find that the banks, the supermarkets, the NHS workers, the pensions industry, the shipyard workers, all of them are no longer to be listened to. Instead we are supposed to believe they have all been dragooned into a conspiracy to deny Scotland its liberation. 

We are told there is only one expert in this debate, only one person who can be trusted - Alex Salmond - and we have to risk our jobs, pensions and our NHS on his say so. Well Scotland, I believe the silent majority will stand up and be counted on Thursday. They reject his division and they are every bit as part of Team Scotland as anyone else and they will be proud to vote No on Thursday because it is in Scotland's interests."