Scottish independence: Debate to air across UK

Alistair Darling. Picture: PA

Alistair Darling. Picture: PA

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THE next TV referendum debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be broadcast to viewers in the rest of the UK.

Broadcasting bosses plan to screen the debate on 25 August to viewers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Scotland.

The move comes after widespread interest across the UK in the opening debate on STV last week, in which Mr Darling was widely credited with delivering a stronger performance than Mr Salmond.

A BBC source said: “It will be broadcast across the UK on network TV and could be given to other broadcasters as well.”

Mr Darling and the First Minister could now go head-to-head in two further televised referendum debates, the anti-independence Better Together campaign has said.

Officials from the No campaign are in negotiations with Sky and Channel 4 for further debates around the time of the BBC debate.

The Sky and Channel 4 debates have yet to be agreed, but Better Together has set a deadline of 26 August to ensure the TV debates have been screened before postal ballots are sent.

Internet forum Mumsnet has also lined up the leaders of the opposing camps for an online debate in the run-up to the referendum.

Mr Darling said viewers should expect more of the “passionate” performance viewers witnessed in the first TV debate on last week.

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