Campaign for independence begins
A major campaign to persuade people in Scotland to vote for independence has been launched, with Hollywood star Brian Cox telling people: "We have arrived at the moment to realise our potential."
With the Scottish Government planning an independence referendum for autumn 2014, the drive to win over voters has begun in earnest. The launch of the Yes Scotland campaign saw famous faces such as Cox and X-Men actor Alan Cumming team up with politicians including First Minister Alex Salmond.
Supporters at the event, staged in an Edinburgh cinema, signed a "Yes declaration" stating it is "fundamentally better" if decisions about the country's future are taken by the people of Scotland. It aims to get one million voters to sign it before the referendum.
Mr Salmond declared: "If we achieve that, then we shall win an independent Scotland."
Meanwhile, a poll commissioned by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling found just 33% of people agree that Scotland should become independent, with 57% opposed and 10% undecided.
Mr Darling, who is co-ordinating the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, said: "The Nationalists are entitled to their view but the majority of us simply aren't buying the independence policy they're selling."
But Cox, who starred in Braveheart and The Bourne Identity, urged people to vote Yes, saying: "We have arrived at the moment to realise our potential. Please let's not waste it. Please let's say Yes."
The campaign got under way to the tune of One Great Thing by 1980s Scots rock band Big Country.
Sir Sean Connery, one of the most high-profile supporters of Scottish independence, was not present but a message of support from the former James Bond actor was read out by Martin Compston, the star of the Ken Loach film Sweet Sixteen.
The message declared: "This is a historic day for Scotland. The Yes campaign has centred on a positive vision for Scotland. It is rooted in inclusiveness, equality and that core democratic value that the people of Scotland are the best guardians of their own future."