Ed Miliband to make passionate plea to keep the UK intact at Scottish Labour conference

 

Deputy Political Editor

Ed Miliband will invoke the memory of the late Labour leader John Smith on Friday, as he argues that the best way to guarantee social justice in Scotland is to keep the United Kingdom intact.

He will claim a vote for independence in September’s referendum would trigger a “race to the bottom” with Alex Salmond presiding over higher taxes and lower wages.

His onslaught is likely to be rejected by the Scottish Government as scaremongering and evidence of panic in the “no” camp.

It which claims backing for separation is steadily growing, pointing to a survey yesterday which put support for a “yes” vote on 47 per cent.

Mr Miliband will tell the Scottish Labour conference in Perth that two decades have passed since Mr Smith’s death.

He will say: “John Smith was a man who passionately believed in social justice in Scotland – and in the United Kingdom. 20 years on, that flame of social justice burns.

“And we can honour his legacy by winning the fight for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom.”

Mr Miliband will say he “passionately” believes Scotland should remain in the Union and promise to make the positive case for the UK staying together over the next six months.

He will tell activists: “Everyone in this Labour Party knows we’re better together.

“When we’re in need, we don’t ask whether we are Scottish, English, Welsh or Northern Irish, we look after each other. And, in the same way, we will build prosperity for the future and for every part of the United Kingdom in a race to the top by creating those good, high-paying jobs people should expect.”

He will accuse Mr Salmond, the First Minister, of failing to match Labour’s promises to restore the 50p top rate of income tax and to freeze energy bills and claim families would be worse off in a breakaway Scotland.

“Think how hard it would be to stop a race to the bottom happening if, on one island, we had a border running along the middle so we were divided in two.

“It would be two lanes in a race to the bottom with David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the starting-blocks,” Mr Miliband will tell the conference.

“The SNP talkw about social justice. But they can’t build it because they can’t be narrow nationalists and serve social justice at the same time.”

Labour has set out plans to extend devolution in the event of a No vote. It proposes giving Holyrood the power to vary tax rates by up to 15p in the pound, giving Scotland control of three quarters of the 20p basic rate of income tax.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Support Engineer

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence