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Sunday, 7 September 2014

No camp in "meltdown" as border scares disowned

The No campaign has gone into "complete meltdown" after an Ed Miliband threat to build border posts with an independent Scotland provoked a spectacular backlash - prompting the Labour press office to try and disown the interview. 

After Mr Miliband’s comments, made in a Mail on Sunday interview, came to light late last night, the Labour press office immediately disowned the comments and tried to blame the newspaper, tweeting: “Ridiculous splash in Mail on Sunday. There is no Labour 'plan' for border guards in independent Scotland and nor does Ed say that. Rather than establishing borders, Ed is focused on keeping the UK together”

However Mr Miliband was quite clear that “If you don’t want borders, vote to stay in the United Kingdom” - and asked to clarify if this meant border guards and passport checks, he said “it would have to be looked at” This is further underlined by Mr Miliband’s spokesman, who said: “The last time I looked there were two sides to the Border - and we would be in charge of one of them. It would be up to us, not Mr Salmond, to secure our northern border.” Most damagingly for Labour, the border post scare story has been put forward on numerous occasions before - by Mr Miliband himself.

In a separate development revealing the panic engulfing the No campaign, Gordon Brown has today used an article in the Sunday Mirror to blame their Tory allies for the surge in support for independence. Mr Brown said “many are angry that the bedroom tax was imposed upon Scots against their will while at the same time the very wealthy received tax cuts.”

Commenting, South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said: “The No campaign has gone into meltdown as Ed Miliband’s latest attempt to scare people into voting No has spectacularly backfired. Ed Miliband is putting forward the ridiculous proposition that he would share an open border with Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands - but he would erect border posts with an independent Scotland. No wonder the Labour party is running for cover.

“All of these territories have been part of the Common Travel Area since the 1920s, and that sensible arrangement will continue after Scotland becomes independent - because it is in everyone’s interests for it to do so. The No campaign’s credibility has completely collapsed - the more they try and frighten people into voting No, the more they are moving toward support for Yes.

“As the referendum approaches, more and more people are realising that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world - and a Yes vote next week is the golden opportunity to make that wealth work for the people of Scotland - building a fairer society, creating job opportunities and protecting Scotland’s NHS.”