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Brown Appeals to Scottish Labour Voters to Reject Independence

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Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will appeal to traditional Labour voters in Scotland to reject independence and vote to remain in the U.K. and support the party’s commitment to social justice.

The Labour lawmaker for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh, will kick off a series of No campaign rallies by arguing Scotland should remain part of the U.K. to protect jobs, pensions and the National Health Service. Scottish families would also benefit from Labour’s pledge to freeze energy bills should the party win election next year.

“Labour’s patriotic case for the Union starts from our strong sense of being Scottish,” Brown will say, according to remarks released by his office. It’s a case for “interdependence that is a far bigger idea than the nationalist case for independence which seeks to break all constitutional connections with the U.K.,” he will say.

Brown is being more active in the campaign after Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond won a televised debate in which he accused Brown’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling as being “in bed with the Tory Party.” Brown in June criticized elements of the No campaign for failing to put forward convincing arguments.

A Scot who led the U.K. from 2007 until his Labour Party lost the 2010 election, will say Labour’s commitment to the union starts “from our strong sense of being Scottish.” In a series of rallies starting in Coatbridge and moving to Glasgow, Clydebank, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, traditional Labour-supporting areas, he will seek to win over more than half a million undecided voters to the No campaign.

Gaining Support

With just over two weeks to go before the Sept. 18 referendum, Salmond says his campaign is gaining momentum and that he’s winning over undecided voters and Labour supporters. Today is the deadline for registering to cast a ballot.

A Survation poll last week found the No vote had dropped two percentage points since Aug. 9 to 48 percent, while 42 percent of respondents said they would vote Yes, an increase of four points. The survey found 11 percent still didn’t know how they would cast their ballot. The figures were rounded.

“Nationalists forget that once Scotland ends the system of sharing, through which the whole of the U.K. contributes to Scottish jobs, pensions, health care and costs of living, there is no way back,” Brown will say.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net Rodney Jefferson

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