The former prime minister told an audience of Labour activists in Clydebank town hall that Scots had been the creators of the welfare state and the NHS, but understood they worked better with the pooled resources of the UK.
He said: “To people who have lived through the last 50, 60 years there is a message we should give to young people.
“Tell them we had to fight a war to ensure peace in this country; tell them that we built a peace; tell them that together we built the welfare state; tell them together we built a national health service; tell them that the principles that underline our country are the same today and tomorrow. That we share and co-operate; that we work together; that we plan for the future together … There is no alternative in my view but to consider a patriotic No vote.”
Drawing on the Second World War, he said: “There were Scots, English, Welsh and Irish who fought side by side during that Second World War … When someone was injured nobody asked whether you were Scots, English Welsh or Irish because we were in a common fight all working together.”