David Cameron caused some controversy last week when an article for The Telegraph suggested that he thought Scotland could thrive outside of The Union. Today, in Gretna Green, he is delivering a short speech in favour of the Union. Here are his key messages:
Security interests: "Over the centuries, Scots have made an outstanding contribution to the UK’s military successes, from Waterloo to D-Day, from the Falklands to Afghanistan. Scotland punches above its weight in Britain’s Armed Forces and Britain punches above its weight in the world because of the expertise and bravery of those Armed Forces. Scotland benefits from the expertise of the Metropolitan Police and MI5 in fighting both terrorism and organised crime."
International weight: "Britain is one of only five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. We have a seat at the top table and are listened to in a way that other countries can only dream of. Our ability to influence the European Union derives from our size within it. Smaller countries frequently complain that the EU is dominated by the bigger countries. Certainly, the UK would never have achieved its rebate without the institutional muscle that comes from a population of 60 million people."
Shared prosperity: "Britain has the fourth largest economy in the world. The City of London is overtaking New York as a global powerhouse. Edinburgh’s role as a major financial centre is built on the expertise of its workforce and underpinned by its position in the UK. "
The NHS: "The NHS is one of the greatest institutions created in 20th century Europe. It is the best of British, created by a Welshman and benefiting enormously from the skill of doctors trained in Scotland’s great medical schools, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen."
The BBC: "Another institution we can all be proud of is the BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation was founded by a Scotsman and is the most prestigious broadcaster on earth. People around the world tune into the BBC for news they can trust. The BBC also reminds us of our common culture. Programmes like Doctor Who and Mastermind aren’t English or Scottish – they’re British."