“INCREASINGLY desperate” Scottish nationalists will pull any trick they can when Holyrood returns to business for its unprecedented summer session after the Commonwealth Games, according to Better Together leader Alistair Darling.
The SNP voted to change Holyrood’s recess dates to sit in August before the referendum “purdah” period begins, giving the Scottish Government the opportunity to announce new policies and initiatives ahead of the period of silence.
About a quarter of Scots have registered for a postal vote - rising to a third in some areas - meaning they will be casting their votes from the end of August, Mr Darling said.
“That means that we have a short, critical time but we are increasingly confident about the arguments that we are making,” he said at the opening of a Better Together campaign office in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
“As our confidence increases, it’s manifestly obvious that the nationalists are running out of arguments and running out of time, which is why I suspect that after the Commonwealth Games you will see them become increasingly desperate in the things that they say.”
The Scottish Parliament returns to business on August 5, two days after the Commonwealth Games’ closing ceremony.
Mr Darling said Scots can be just as proud of Team Scotland’s early successes in the Games as they were of Team GB in London 2012.
He added: “Scotland’s medal haul just on day one is a demonstration of just how many excellent sportsmen and women we have in Scotland, and I hope we win many more medals.
“What it demonstrates is that each of the countries of the UK can do an awful lot on their own, but they can also do an awful lot being part of the UK.”
The former chancellor also welcomed the news that Britain’s economy is growing faster than any other developed country and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s largest profit announcement since he bailed them out in 2008.
But he said the present Tory-led UK Government’s policies have held back the recovery.
He said: “What we are seeing today is that there is a recovery.
“It is running far more slowly than I anticipated because I think the Conservatives’ approach in 2010 was profoundly mistaken and held back that recovery.
“What I would say, and many commentators are saying this, is that while the recovery is welcome, it is by no means established.
“This is a very bumpy road but I always said when I was chancellor, when we set out our recovery programme from 2009 onwards, that it would come but it would take a long time to come.
“I am just sorry that because of what the present Government has done that it is running later than it otherwise would have been. They predicted recovery two years ago.”