Miliband To Urge Swift Power Talks

Work to hand more powers to Scotland if it rejects independence should begin immediately after the referendum, Ed Miliband will insist.

The Labour leader argued that with offers of enhanced devolution already on the table from all three of the main Westminster parties, the process should get under way "right after'' the September 18 referendum.

He will make the call in a speech to the TUC general dinner in Liverpool where he will praise the unions for their role in campaigning for a No vote.

Mr Miliband will argue that voting against "separation is also about saying yes to more devolution'' which will see "more decisions being made in Scotland, by Scots, with a stronger Scottish Parliament, with more powers guaranteed''.

He will stress: "I say we should get the process of further devolution under way right after the referendum.''

The Labour leader's address comes after it emerged a detailed timetable for the transfer of more powers to Holyrood is expected to be made public in coming days.

UK Chancellor George Osborne told BBC's Andrew Marr show: ''You will see in the next few days a plan of action to give more powers to Scotland. More tax powers, more spending powers, more plans for powers over the welfare state.

''That will be put into effect - the timetable for delivering that will be put into effect the moment there is a No vote in the referendum.

''The clock will be ticking for delivering those powers, and then Scotland will have the best of both worlds."

Meanwhile Mr Miliband will also argue that the "choice which is true to Labour's traditions, to trade union traditions'' in the referendum is to vote for Scotland to remain in the UK.

A number of unions have already signed a joint statement "declaring that our strength comes from staying together and that separation would damage the rights and conditions of working people'', Mr Miliband will say.

"They are saying that the choice for solidarity and social justice is to say No.

"They are campaigning with their members to fight for unity, not division.

"That's why all of them are asking the people of Scotland to say 'no thanks' in the referendum on September 18.''

He will add: "It is the Labour Party and the Labour movement that says the choice in this referendum is not change with Yes or No change with no. It is what kind of change will come to Scotland.

"By working together for a Labour government across the UK, we can freeze energy bills, raise the minimum wage, introduce fairer taxes, and put our young people back to work.

"Compare this with what the SNP is offering. As well as huge unanswered question from currency to jobs, they propose cuts in corporation tax, no energy price freeze, no commitment to the 50p tax rate and the end to the social justice in the UK.''

Mr Miliband will continue: "Trade unions and the Labour Party are showing the way to secure a better Scotland. A Labour government offering security and working for social justice across the United Kingdom.

"In the final days of this referendum, we will campaign together, work together and fight together - to show that we are better together.''

Bob Thomson of Labour for Independence said: "We already know that some 230,000 Labour voters - around one in three - are already planning to vote Yes, and we are aiming for a majority a week on Thursday. Members of the RMT union have recently voted to support a Yes vote, and the Scottish Prison Officers Association members also back Yes.''

Mr Thomson, a former chairman of the Scottish Labour Party, added: "The STUC's stated position - which is highly significant - is not to support the anti-independence campaign. And the STUC have also said that trade unionists are 'more attracted' to Yes.

"It is our job and intention between now and September 18 to persuade a majority of trade unionists of the opportunities of Yes to build a fairer and more socially just Scotland, to protect and enhance workers' rights, and to create new jobs by growing our economy in a sustainable way.''

The SNP's Derek Mackay said: "Just last week we have had RMT members vote to back Yes - as more and more working people across Scotland are waking up to the huge opportunities of independence.

"Ed Miliband is completely out of touch with the reality on the ground in Scotland as more Labour voters switch from No to Yes - and his claims on more powers were clearly written before the No camp's entire gimmick fell apart.

"A Yes vote enables us to deliver polices we are committed to, such as a minimum wage which rises at least in line with inflation and the ability to create new and better jobs here in Scotland.

"A Yes vote is our one opportunity to be rid of Tory governments we didn't vote for and to make our country a fairer, more equal place for everyone who lives here - which is exactly why already around one in three Labour voters are voting Yes, which we believe can become a majority in next week's referendum.''

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