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Sturgeon appeals to Borderers to vote yes

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Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed a large audience at a meeting in the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels on Monday evening.

Arranged by Yes Scottish Borders, the meeting attracted an audience of over 500 people.

Ahead of her speech, Miss Sturgeon spoke to The Southern.

She told us: “It is really important I think to get round all of the country to address issues and answer questions in each part of Scotland so that particular issues that are important in one part of the country, perhaps the Borders, that are maybe not important, or as important, in another part of the country are properly aired and addressed.”

Asked whether selling the idea of independence to Borderers was easier or harder than elsewhere due to the proximity to England and the level of cross-border business, Miss Sturgeon said: “Scotland being independent does not interrupt cross-border trade, we’ve been very clear about that

“Nor is independence in any way detrimental to the relationship between Scotland, and indeed the borders of Scotland, and our friends south of the border in England.

“Independence is about taking responsibility for our own decisions in Scotland, taking responsibility for building the kind of country we want to be but doing that within a very strong social union.

“And I guess that people living in the Borders, so close to our friends south of the border, understand that social union perhaps better than anybody, and I think that is a positive thing.”

Miss Sturgeon added: “As I know from ministerial experience, the issues of transport and connectivity are really important in the Borders, and one of the big messages at the heart of this campaign is how we access our vast resources as a country to make sure we’re addressing challenges in every single part of the country.

“This is a decision for all of the country, and for every component part of Scotland, and it is a decision we may not get the chance to make again.

“It is a massive opportunity and one I hope we all seize with both hands.”

Speaking at the event along with Miss Sturgeon was Christine Grahame MSP and Andy Myles, former chief executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Mr Myles said he could see no evidence of devolution leading to a situation where Scotland would be an “equal part of the UK”.

He concluded his speech by stating that he had “not shed a single Liberal principle” in coming to the decision to vote for independence in September.

Ms Grahame said: “The Scottish Parliament has done lots of good things, but its hands are tied behind its back.”

Following the event, Ash Regan-Denham of Yes Scottish Borders said: “No-one can deny that the campaign event was a resounding success. The marvellous turn-out demonstrates the keen interest Borderers are taking in the issue.

“We hope that at least some members of the audience who might have been dubious about the merits of independence before it now take a different view. There was certainly a lot of positive feedback.”

 

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