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Ed Miliband MP speech

It is great to be here with Gregg McClymont, one of our most talented young MPs, who is doing such a brilliant job.

And with our great shadow Secretary State for Scotland, Margaret Curran, and Lawrence Wason, the Scottish Secretary of USDAW, who has done so much in this campaign.

And it has been a privilege to be part of this campaign, talking to the people of Scotland about the huge choice they face.

I was absolutely clear that today the right thing to do was not to be at PMQs.

But to be back in Scotland listening and making the case.

And in these final days I want to make the case about why I think the right thing to do is to vote for no.

And for Scotland stay in the United Kingdom.

Head, heart and soul.

Head: because I believe we can better create a more equal, a more socially just society together than we can alone.

Heart: because of the ties that bind us together and would be irreversibly broken by separation.

And soul: because it is solidarity that built the great institutions like our National Health Service and can tackle the great injustices of our time.

But I cannot make this case without being candid about my place in it.

I am not a Scot.

I don’t have a vote.

But I do care passionately about the outcome of this referendum.

I care because of the values that motivate me as a person, the reasons I am in politics.

My parents were immigrants, Jews who fled from the Nazis.

They taught me a faith that you should not just get angry about injustice but you should do something about it.

I grew up in the 1980s against the backdrop of the Miners’ strike and Mrs Thatcher.

I saw communities ripped apart by unemployment.

I hated what she was doing to our country and that’s why I joined the Labour Party at 17.

I marched against the poll tax.

And today I feel an immense sense of pride to lead the party I joined then, more than twenty five years ago.

My argument for Scotland to say no starts from the belief in tackling injustice wherever we find it.

The people of Scotland whether they intend to vote no or yes, have established beyond doubt in this campaign that there needs to be profound economic and political change.

I have heard it wherever I have gone in this campaign.

I remember in particular someone I met outside a shopping centre who told me that he was voting no but I needed to realise that too many people he knew could not find decent jobs.

Let me say: this thirst for change is shared across the United Kingdom.

We cannot carry on with an economy that only works for a few people at the top and doesn’t work for most people.

A Labour government will act.

Changing the way our country works and tackling the injustice we see is at the core of the Labour Party’s programme, and the contract we have set out with the people of Scotland.

Getting rid of David Cameron’s government.

An end to the exploitation of zero hours contracts.

A higher minimum wage.

A fairer tax system.

Young people back to work.

The abolition of the bedroom tax across the whole of the UK.

And unlike the SNP we won’t just say it, we vote for it too.

Part of that desire for change is change in how we are governed.

And making it easier for Scotland to deliver on social justice by devolving more powers on fairer tax, on work, on social security, to the Scottish Parliament.

And we will meet the timetable set out by Gordon Brown and Johann Lamont earlier this week and agreed by other Scottish leaders yesterday.

And a Labour government will deliver on it in the first Queen’s speech.

And it beats by a long way the change on offer from the other side of the argument on social justice.

And for a very simple reason:

Because as six Scottish trade unions set out at the weekend, independence would lead to a race to the bottom.

As corporations seek competitive advantage from being in one country or another.

Seeking to drive down tax rates, wage rates and terms and conditions.

And don’t take my word for it.

Because Alex Salmond himself is proposing a 3p cut in corporation tax, taking money away from working families.

Why, when he says public services are facing such pressure, when college places have been cut, when so many people are facing so much hardship would someone claiming to be a social democrat make this his only redistributive proposal?

Because it is where independence takes you: away from social justice.

Not towards it, a race to the bottom.

This is the start of the case that I want to make to you.

But for me the case for saying no goes far beyond these arguments of the head.

To arguments of the heart.

My Dad was in the Royal Navy, stationed in Inverkeithing during the Second World War, serving alongside Scots.

And so many, across the United Kingdom, will have their own connections of friendship and family with Scotland.

Feelings of the heart.

And we are seeing the expressions of those feelings in the saltires being flown elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

A simple message to the people of Scotland:

Please stay with us.

Stay with us because we are stronger together.

Stay with us so we can change Britain together.

And I want to visit Inverkeithing with my children when they are old enough to tell them about the grandfather they never knew and his service in the war.

And I want them to be visiting part of our United Kingdom, not part of another country.

And these connections of the heart work in both directions.

Like the great-grandmother I met here whose great-grandchildren now live in England.

She didn’t want them living in a different country.

It has been said that the emotional argument lies with independence.

Not for me.

Not for so many people across our country.

Because our hearts lie with you.

And for me the third set of arguments are perhaps the most powerful.

The arguments of the soul.

Our movement was founded on solidarity.

That is what it is to be Labour.

My parents were internationalists.

But because of ties of history, geography, connection we are not just citizens of the world, but citizens of the United Kingdom.

And we have an extraordinary history which speaks to this strength and solidarity across our whole country.

And that’s why we have achieved so much.

We demanded and won workers’ rights across the UK, with Scottish trade unions leading the way.

We overcame Fascism and fought for freedom in the world.

We built a National Health Service, Scots, and English and Welsh working together.

And, we secured a National Minimum Wage, the great legacy of John Smith.

And solidarity is not just a historical artefact.

It is there to be built upon today.

The family in Edinburgh cares about the poor child in London.

The working people of Liverpool care about the working people of Glasgow.

Which is why Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, was the first to fly the saltire yesterday morning.

The young people of Manchester care about pensioners in Paisley.

And these bonds of solidarity can lead us to new achievements.

Taking on the vested interests from the energy companies to the banks together.

Putting our young people back to work together.

Replacing insecurity at work with security together.

Building fairness and justice together.

I said at the start, we all have our own values that we bring to this debate.

Scotland’s values of fairness, justice and equality have shone through in this referendum campaign.

But to meet those values I know we have to change our country.

Together we can do that.

Not by irreversibly breaking apart.

With all the risks that means.

But by building a different future.


Social Justice.

Together, not alone.

From the head.

From the heart.

From the soul.

Vote No in this referendum.

Let’s change Britain together

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