POLITICS

Scottish Independence: Miliband Urges English To Fly Scottish Flag

09/09/2014 09:25 BST | Updated 09/09/2014 13:59 BST

Ed Miliband has called for cities and towns across the United Kingdom to fly the Saltire in an effort to persuade voters in Scotland to reject independence, as the No campaign sent for help from Gordon Brown.

With just nine days to go until the vote, opinion polls indicate the contest is on a knife edge and Labour voters in Scotland could prove crucial in deciding the fate of the union. Miliband has vowed to "campaign night and day" to preserve the UK.

The Labour leader said he wanted to see the Saltire flying above buildings in all parts of the UK in the days leading up the September 18 referendum. He said: "Over the next few days we want cities, towns and villages across the UK to send a message to Scotland: stay with us. We want to see the Saltire flying above buildings all across our country."

The leaders of Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Scotland will today unveil a detailed timetable setting out how quickly new powers could be transferred to Holyrood if the No camp wins next week's referendum.

The pro-union Better Together campaign has denied the move is a panic measure to shore up support, although it increasingly appears as if the referendum contest is too close to call. A new TNS poll today found support for independence and staying in the UK was tied at 41% each among those who are certain to vote, while a YouGov study two days ago put Yes ahead for the first time in the contest.

Last night the No campaign deployed Brown. The former prime minister, a Scottish MP, set out his proposed schedule for new powers to be transferred north, saying work on it would start immediately after the referendum.

He declared a No vote next week would be the "starting gun for action". Brown envisions a ''command paper'' to be published by the present UK Government setting out all the proposals for change no later than the end of October.

A white paper would be drawn up in November after a period of consultation, with draft clauses for legislation expected in January.

As the pro-union parties reveal more details of further devolution, Alex Salmond will be urging Scots to reject that and instead vote for independence as he campaigns in Edinburgh.

He will insist that an independent Scotland will continue to be a member of the European Union as he meets supporters from other countries who will declare "we are all European citizens".

Such is the concern among those at Westminster, some have even called for the Queen to declare her views, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk told the paper: "It would mean something to the people of England and Scotland. It would be welcomed - I don't think it would be improper." But royal aides have said the Queen will remain neutral, the paper claimed.