LABOUR'S UK leader Ed Miliband visits Scotland today with a pledge to fight the long campaign against the "real divide" – not between Scotland and the UK, but between haves and have-nots.

His message on the constitution will be markedly less confrontational than recent language emanating from Downing Street as he delivers a speech in Glasgow this morning.

He will say: "I am not here to tell Scots that Scotland cannot survive outside the United Kingdom. But I am here to tell you that we need to make Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, a fairer, more just place to live and we can do this best together."

Loading article content

In his first visit since ceasing to be leader of Scottish Labour, a new unified post to which Johann Lamont was elected last month, Mr Miliband will challenge the recent assertion in London by Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland could serve as a "beacon of progress" for the left in England.

Instead, he is arguing that Scotland is better playing this role within the UK. "I say let's confront the real divide in our society, not between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, but between the haves and the have-nots," he will argue.

He will also say: "I come here today with humility about the scale of challenge for Labour just nine months after we lost the Scottish elections. With admiration for Johann Lamont, the first Leader of Scottish Labour, who has shown she understands the scale of the challenge and Labour's need to change. And with determination to play my part supporting her in the long campaign for the United Kingdom."

It was claimed at the weekend senior Downing Street sources were warning Scots they could vote for independence, but not increased fiscal autonomy as this would require Westminster consent, which would not be forthcoming. It was a threat which appeared to catch the Conservatives' Scottish leader on the hop, and Ruth Davidson refused to comment on the grounds it relied on unnamed sources.

She did confirm she held by the view the independence issue should be settled first, before the arguments were clouded by issues of fiscal autonomy or "devo-max" which should come later.

First Minister Alex Salmond said of the latest claims credited to Downing Street: "What I would advise the Prime Minister to do is this: it's to do what I'm going to do. Listen to the voices of civic Scotland that come forward to see if there's a real demand for having a question on fiscal autonomy, on financial powers, on the ballot paper.

"If that demand is there I think it would only be inclusive and democratic to allow that voice to be heard."

Mr Salmond argued that using a phrase such as "leaving the United Kingdom" would cloud matters given that the SNP intention is for the Queen to remain Scotland's head of state.

But Anas Sarwar deputy leader of Scottish Labour called this argument "utterly ridiculous," claiming: "Alex Salmond seems determined to muddy and confuse what separation actually means in a desperate attempt to kid people that nothing would change, but I am confident Scots will see through his fanciful claims."

Meanwhile, Scots entrepreneur Michelle Mone said she would move her lingerie business to England in the event of a yes vote in the referendum.

Creator of the Ultimo brand and co-owner of MJM International, she said: "I will move my business and I will move personally. I don't think we can survive on our own and I think it would be really bad for business. Everything would go up and I really don't think we need it at the moment."

But a Scottish Government spokesman said she had said similar things in the past: "The reality is that major international companies are voting with their feet by bringing major investments to Scotland, including Amazon, Avaloq, Gamesa, Mitsubishi, Ceridian, Bank of New York Mellon and Atos, and with powers to deliver lower corporation tax, which only independence offers, we can achieve even more."