Second live TV debate launched on Scottish independence referendum

Updated: 2014-08-26 09:00


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Second live TV debate launched on Scottish independence referendum

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has make-up applied at the debate over Scottish independence at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow August 25, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

EDINBURGH - Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together campaign leader Alistair Darling on Monday night launched their second live TV debate on the Scottish independence referendum in Glasgow.

Broadcast live on television channel BBC One, the ongoing 90-minute debate event at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum mainly focused on the currency in an independent Scotland and the future of the North Sea oil revenue.

Salmond stressed the current "world focus on Scotland" and pledged to provide security and opportunity for the young in seeking independence for Scotland as it is "our time, our moment".

Darling, a British Labour Party politician and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, pointed out that the Yes campaign for Scottish independence lacks of a Plan B for the currency if pound sterling is refused in an independent Scotland.

Being Together means "sharing risks and rewards with our neighbors", said Darling, calling for "No, thanks" to independence for the next generations.

Salmond said that he was seeking a "mandate" to keep the pound sterling in a currency union, and would not go into a negotiation with something that was "second best".

Darling said that the British revenues from North Sea oil and gas are "volatile" and were about 5 billion pounds (about 8.3 billion U.S. dollars) less than expected last year.

However, the Yes Scotland campaign regards oil as sustainable natural resources and tremendous assets for Scotland.

The debate before an independently selected 200 audience was the second for both to go head-to-head over independence, as they completed the first one on Aug. 5, also in Glasgow.

Recent polls showed that support for the "Yes" camp is rising, yet still behind the "No" campaign with 23 days to go until the independence referendum on Sept. 18.

In October 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Salmond signed the Edinburgh Agreement, allowing Scotland to hold an independence referendum in autumn 2014 on the question, "Should Scotland be an independent country?"