Entertainment News

  • 18 March 2014, 11:18

Eddie Izzard Joins Scottish Referendum Debate

Eddie Izzard has entered Scotland's referendum debate with a plea to stay in the United Kingdom.

The comedian announced on Twitter plans for a Scotland, Please Don't Go gig in Edinburgh on April 4 as a fundraiser for Better Together, the campaign group against independence.

The funds raised by the unionist campaign have, so far, been dwarved by the cash donations given to the Yes campaign, which counts lottery millionaires Chris and Colin Weir as supporters.

The couple have reportedly donated several million pounds to the pro-independence campaign.

Eddie Izzard's sentiments echo the thoughts of David Bowie, who used an acceptance speech (given by Kate Moss) at the recent Brit Awards to urge Scots to "stay with us".

The latest celebrity endorsement comes as the campaign countdown reached the six-month milestone.

The vote will take place on September 18, when Scots will be asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, of the SNP, told Sky News: "I'm very optimistic that, as people engage more and more in this debate and see the advantages of Scotland being independent, having our hands on the levers of power that allow us to build a wealthier and fairer country, you'll see over the next six months from the yes campaign, the community-based campaigning pick up apace.

"We will see those arguments intensify as we seek to persuade, particularly those who are currently undecided, of the advantages of Scotland being in charge of our own destiny."

Labour will on Tuesday announce plans to vary tax by up to 15p on the pound. The proposal will be included in the findings of its Devolution Commission.

With new powers under the Scotland Act 2012, Holyrood can vary the tax rate by only 10p.

The party will also announce plans to devolve control of a range of benefits, including housing benefit.

The polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of Scots are in favour of enhanced devolution and all unionist parties have been looking at ways of beefing-up Holyrood's powers.

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