Gordon Brown wanted third option in independence referendum

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Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has revealed that he wanted a third option on further devolution to be on the ballot paper in the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.

Mr Brown, who was credited with helping the No side secure victory with a series of high profile interventions and powerful speeches in the campaign’s closing stages, was not involved in the Edinburgh Agreement negotiations that resulted in the final question.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

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In a new book, Mr Brown also claimed that he argued that Better Together should have allocated more funds to operate an entirely separate Scottish Labour campaign.

The former Chancellor said that the party itself rebuffed the plan, which he said was required as Labour supporters were seen as far more susceptible to Scottish Nationalism.

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In the book, My Life, Our Times, Mr Brown wrote: “Privately, I had favoured a third option on the ballot paper, one that offered a more powerful Scottish parliament as a positive alternative to both independence and the status quo.

“Later I was advised by the respected Edinburgh University academics David McCrone and Frank Bechhofer that had there been such an option, support for it could have been around 78 per cent and support for independence would have been much lower.”