Scottish independence: Scots will lose British culture, warns Darling

Alistair Darling is expected to give a speech defending the Union today
Alistair Darling is expected to give a speech defending the Union today
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FORMER Chancellor Alistair Darling has used a keynote speech to claim that independence would mean the loss of all British culture in Scotland and would lead to relatives of Scots in other parts of the UK becoming foreigners “overnight”.

Mr Darling, leader of the Better Together anti-independence campaign, issued a warning that “British music will no longer be our music” and that “British sporting success will be someone else’s to celebrate” if Scots vote yes in the 2014 referendum.

The Labour MP said that Scotland is “far better represented abroad as part of the UK than we could ever hope to be as a separate state” .

Mr Darling, who gave the speech in East Lothian last night, attacked the SNP’s economic case for independence, dismissing the party’s claim that Scots would be hundreds of pounds better off under independence.

He said the Nationalist claim that Scottish taxpayers would be £510 better off was based on Scotland’s funding arrangements with the UK through the Barnett formula, which he said would “die with independence”.

There was also an attack on the SNP’s flagship claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the European Union and the Nato defence pact.

Mr Darling warned that Nato may block Scotland’s membership because of the SNP’s opposition to nuclear weapons as he said the alliance “might not accept these strings” and that joining the EU “wouldn’t be plain sailing”.

The former Chancellor went onto claim that an independent Scotland would be unable to match the broadcasting services that the BBC provides.

He said: “We would not have achieved half as much had we not been in the United Kingdom advancing together.”