Scottish independence: 'We are already a proud nation', Gordon Brown tells Scots in rousing pro-union speech

The former PM was compared to Braveheart after his impassioned address

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The Independent Online

Gordon Brown has delivered an impassioned speech in defence of the union, saying Scotland is already a "proud nation" and does not need to "throw solidarity into the dust".

The former Labour Prime Minister may have been repeating many of the articles made by the No campaign in his address in Glasgow, but his fiery rhetoric drew the attention of activists on both sides of the debate.

He attempted to banish allegations that those voting against independence were unpatriotic, saying they had a “patriotic vision, proud of our Scottish identity” as well as being “proud of the Scottish Parliament that we, not the nationalist party, created”.

Mr Brown urged the "silent majority" of No voters to "stand up and be counted tomorrow" to stop the breaking of constitutional and political links with the United Kingdom.

He continued: “The vote tomorrow is not about whether Scotland is a nation - we are, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“It's not about whether there is a Scottish Parliament - we have it.

“It's not about whether there are increased powers, we are all agreed to increase the powers.

“The vote tomorrow is whether you want to break and sever every link, and I say let's keep our UK pensions, let's keep our UK pound, let's keep our UK passports, let's keep our UK welfare state.”

He added that the UK had fought and won wars together, had “built the peace together”, as well as establishing the National Health Service and the welfare state together.

“We will build the future together,” he said.

“What we have built together, by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder ever.”

There was a strong reaction to the speech on social media, with many political commentators saying it was the politician's best in years.

Piers Morgan dubbed him "the new Braveheart", while Independent on Sunday political editor Jane Merrick said Mr Brown was "re-writing his political (and actual) obituary".

Even political opponents acknowledged the Labour MP, with Scottish Conservative MSP Eddie Barnes calling his speech "extraordinary".

It followed Alex Salmond's letter to the Scottish people calling tomorrow's vote the "greatest and most empowering moment any of us will ever have".

"Know that by voting ‘Yes’, what we take into our hands is a responsibility like no other- the responsibility to work together to make Scotland the nation it can be," he said.

Opinion polls on Wednesday continued to show the result on a knife-edge, with No edging just ahead on 52 per cent.

Additional reporting by PA

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