The Scotsman has declared in favour of a No vote in the Scottish independence referendum in a front page editorial a week before the polls open.
The Johnston Press-owned broadsheet title became just the second paper in Scotland to take an official stance on the vote after the Sunday Herald declared in favour of a Yes vote in May.
The paper’s editorial stated: “There are significant uncertainties with the proposals before us. There are some major parts of life that will be changed and we do not know what those changes are or what impact they will have, and at a cost we cannot calculate at present. It is clear there will be some constraints on what an independent Scotland can do.
“The political union has helped to provide security and stability. And over the centuries Scots have played a large part in shaping that union. Many, many Scots have benefited from opportunities it has afforded. We are a part of the fabric of the United Kingdom. We are a significant part of its history.
“So, with the choices before us, the conclusion is that we are better together, that Scotland’s best interests lie not in creating division but in continuing in the union and using its strengths to help us continue in our success.”
The paper added that its decision had not been influenced by fear.
“That is not a view taken because of fear, or lack of confidence, or lack of patriotism,” it went on. “It is the very opposite. It is not a view that simply does not want to take risk. It is a measured view that assesses risk against possible benefit and loss.
“It is seeing where the best interests of the Scottish people lie, understanding the benefits of working with the people in these islands in collaboration and partnership and seeing the opportunity to shape the strongest, most secure, fair and just society that we all want.”
The race to the polls intensified this week after Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband travelled to Scotland to appeal to voters to stay within the union.
Recent ABC figures showed the Sunday Herald’s sales increased by one per cent, a u-turn on a consistent trend of sales decline, in H1 2014 and the Newsquests title’s figures were boosted after publishing its Yes front page.
Broadcaster STV also recorded favourable figures in H1 2014, and chief executive Rob Woodward told The Drum that the referendum debate had given the Scottish media a “renewed sense of purpose”.