Scottish independence vote: Supporters are 'biggest grassroots movement'

  • @NigelpMorris

Supporters of independence have forged the “biggest grassroots movement in Scottish political history”, the head of the campaign for separation from the United Kingdom declared last night.

Blair Jenkins argued that a Yes vote on 18 September would help create a “fairer, more progressive, peaceful and reforming Scotland” that would cut poverty and tackle inequality.

Mr Jenkins, the chief executive of Yes Scotland, was speaking ahead of the official referendum period which begins today.

The rival camps will each be allowed to spend up to £1.5m in the run-up to the vote and will be entitled to free airtime and free delivery of millions of leaflets.

Mr Jenkins, speaking at Glasgow University, claimed the Yes campaign was inspiring people who had given up on politics.

“We are finding very strong support in communities where people used to be told their vote didn’t count, that they didn’t have any influence, that they couldn’t make a difference,” he said.

“We now have the biggest grassroots movement in Scottish political history with hundreds of local groups and tens of thousands of active volunteers.”

He argued the campaign was “more dynamic and organic” than its pro-Union opponents, whom he accused of running “Project Fear”.

Mr Jenkins said: “'The No narrative is essentially an encouragement of doubt, and of fear and a lack of confidence in our country and our communities.”

He added: “Yes is the creative option, the option with imagination.

“We are seeing glimpses of what an independent Scotland would be like, a more engaged and a more determined population, a country of active citizens.”

A day after both camps put the economic impact of independence at the heart of their campaign messages, Better Together turned its fire on First Minister Alex Salmond’s failure to publish start-up costs for an independent nation.

Its director, Blair McDougall, said: “This is an utter shambles from Alex Salmond and his campaign to break up the UK. Trying to deceive the people of Scotland about how much separation would cost is unacceptable.

“If they won’t tell us what they know about the costs of setting up a separate state then voters will conclude Alex Salmond is hiding the true cost of independence.”