Scottish independence: Darling’s speech in full

Darling said: 'You represent the majority of opinion and your voices have been heard. We have taken on the argument and we've won. The silent have spoken.' Picture: TSPL
Darling said: 'You represent the majority of opinion and your voices have been heard. We have taken on the argument and we've won. The silent have spoken.' Picture: TSPL
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HERE IS the text of the speech of the leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, in Glasgow:

“The people of Scotland have spoken. We have chosen unity over division and positive change rather than needless separation.

“Today is a momentous result for Scotland and also for the United Kingdom as a whole.

“By confirming our place within the Union, we have reaffirmed all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken.

“But as we celebrate, let us also listen. More than 85% of the Scottish population has voted. People who were disengaged from politics have turned out in large numbers.

“And while they have voted on the constitution, that was not the only or perhaps the major issue that drove them to the polls.

“Every political party must now listen to their cry for change, which could be echoed in every part of our United Kingdom but had the opportunity to express itself first in Scotland.

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“To those who have supported us, and all that great team of volunteers, all the political parties who have worked for this outcome, I want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart. Thanks very much.

“You represent the majority of opinion and your voices have been heard. We have taken on the argument and we’ve won. The silent have spoken.

“Of course I understand that amongst those who supported Yes there will be disappointment, or even grief. Defeat is painful, as I can tell you from my own personal experience.

“I know there are many people with deep and genuine commitment to Scotland on the Yes side. They will and must continue to make their contribution to the political debate in our country.

“But that debate must move on from the constitution to the day and daily issues which affect their lives and prospects.

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“And the Scottish Parliament must use both the powers it holds and those which are coming to it to address these concerns.

“When the Scottish Parliament was born, delivered by Donald Dewar and the government of which I was a member, we talked of devolution being a journey.

“He would have been proud that Scottish democracy is so vibrant, so alive, and so determined to take the next step down the road that we began.

“So I am clear that all of the parties who have made shared commitments to change must now start to translate those commitments into action. I give my commitment to support that process.

“We will work with the people of Scotland in advancing these commitments.

“We must also recognize that the debate has created some fairly deep divisions in our country. This has been a campaign that has both energised but, at times, divided.

“Some people have felt unable to speak except through the ballot box

“Those divisions now need to be addressed.

Voters in Glasgow give their reaction to the Scottish independence referendum

“That requires leadership, and my colleagues and I will play our part in bringing the country together, to demonstrate that after this vote we can remain united.

“This has not been an easy campaign. Campaigning against Yes for change, it is sometimes more difficult to argue for No. We were obliged to point out that some of the arguments for separation were going to cause damage to our country.

“But we had to do that because those risks were real, and it is in my view a tribute to the good sense of the Scottish people that they decided these risks were too great to take.

“So the vote is over. The Scottish people have now given their verdict.

“We have made a decision for progress and change, for Scotland within the United Kingdom.

“Come on Scotland. Let’s get on with it together.”