Chamber hope for big public turnout at debate

Independence referendum
Independence referendum

Borderers will get the chance to hear local politicians discuss the pros and cons of independence at a debate in Galashiels later this month.

The independence debate on Thursday, February 20, is being organised by Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce, but is aimed at the wider public, not just local business people.

Taking part in the debate will be Michael Moore MP, David Mundell MP, Joan McAlpine MSP and Paul Wheelhouse MSP. It will be chaired by the BBC’s Cameron Buttle.

The free event is being held at Borders College and audience members can turn up on the night for the 7pm start.

Jack Clark, convener of the chamber, said: “We are really looking forward to having a lively, interesting and well-attended debate.”

Audience members can submit questions when they arrive, and some questions will also be taken from the floor.

Bruce Simpson, vice-convenor, said: “The chamber is an apolitical organisation, but we have a duty to inform and act as a forum for members to help them make up their minds, especially on issues such as the independence referendum.

“We have decided to do that in the form of a debate and utilise our local MSPs and MPs, but have opened it up to the public for a much wider debate.

“There are not going to be many debates of this nature in the Borders before the referendum, so this is an opportunity for some issues to be cleared up and for us to hear what Borderers want to know and what might be concerning them.”