The battle to keep the United Kingdom together stepped up a notch last night as Gordon Brown dramatically returned to the fray.
The ex-Prime Minister unveiled a detailed timetable for further devolution to Scotland, throwing a planned cross-party announcement later this week into disarray.
It came as a late night poll from TNS put the Yes and No campaigns neck and neck at 41 per cent each – just a day after a shock YouGov poll put the independence camp ahead for the first time ever.
Brown’s speech, which was expected later this week, left the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats scrambling to catch up after both parties had previously hinted at a joint statement. Both backed the announcement.
Labour’s plan, which is dubbed Scottish Home Rule, prompted Ed Miliband to announce that if Labour is elected in 2015 he would “immediately deliver” the proposed flow of powers to Holyrood. “I have been pressing the UK Government for some months now to agree to a timetable for delivering the stronger Scottish Parliament we want,” Brown said. He is proposing a Scotland Act to agree the transfer of powers, including over tax and welfare spending, by January 2015.