Scottish leaders debate: What they said in Aberdeen clash

From Trident to the possibility of another independence referendum, here's what was covered when Scotland's leaders went head-to-head

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Indy Politics


Nicola Sturgeon

“I don’t think it is any secret that I want Scotland to have as many powers over our own economy and our own fiscal levers as soon as possible. As Scotland’s voice in the House of Commons, if the SNP is there in numbers we will be arguing for as many powers to come to Scotland as quickly as possible. I would like it as quickly as the other parties agree to give it.”

Jim Murphy

“This is the idea that we cut ourselves off from sources of taxation across the UK. After the difficult time that Aberdeen and the north east of Scotland been through, the idea that we voluntarily give up the pooling and sharing of resources, the ability to transfer money across these islands – I don’t think it makes sense.”

Ruth Davidson

“Full fiscal autonomy, right now if we vote for it next year, would mean that we had billions of pounds less in Scotland to spend on welfare. In fact, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said it would be £7.6bn which is more than we spend on every single pensioner in this country.”

Willie Rennie

“Just imagine if we had a different vote last September. I think there would be blind panic as a result of what has happened in the North Sea. To have our economy, not wholly, but largely dependent on the volatile resource of the North Sea I think would have caused absolute chaos to our public services, to our pensions, to our teachers, to our hospitals.”



Nicola Sturgeon

“I do accept the result of the referendum. There is a triple lock on this. Before it is inserted in the manifesto, public opinion has to change, and then people have to vote for the manifesto if it is in it, then people have to vote for independence. Politicians don’t dictate this, the people are in charge. That’s the basis of democracy.”

Jim Murphy

“You don’t get a mandate from an opinion poll, you get a mandate from a manifesto – and you have gone from being a proud co-leader of the big Yes campaign to being the head of the ‘maybes ayes, maybes naws’ campaign. I’m looking forward to seeing that badge.”

Ruth Davidson

“I do not see an area where if the circumstances arose again that we would [block a referendum]. However, we would feel a betrayal very deeply when we were promised time after time by Nicola…that this was ‘once in a generation’ and we were told by the end of the campaign it was ‘once in a lifetime’.”


Nicola Sturgeon

“It is often asked of me: is Trident a red line? Well here’s my answer, you better believe that Trident is a red line. We will vote against any vote in the House of Commons against the renewal of Trident. There is no circumstances under which SNP MPs will vote for the renewal of Trident.”

Patrick Harvie

“I could never support a government that supported the idea of replacing our weapons of mass destruction.”