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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
McConnell's independence warning
Jack McConnell
The first minister will make his comments at a lecture
The first minister is to warn that Scotland could lose out if the country moves towards independence.

Jack McConnell is due to make the comments when he promotes Scotland's devolution settlement at the JP Mackintosh lecture on Tuesday.

He will say: "There is a prize to partnership and collaboration."

SNP leader Alex Salmond said Mr McConnell was in "panic attack mode" and the "tide of opinion was flowing towards independence".

He said Mr McConnell's last ditch unionism looked "out of date and out of touch".

'Union dividend'

At the lecture in Haddington, East Lothian, the first minister is expected to say: "By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we do on our own.

"That is true for individuals but it is just as true for nations. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have access to the 'union dividend' by virtue of being part of a strong UK."

Previous speakers at the JP Mackintosh memorial lecture include Donald Dewar, Clare Short and Lord Robertson.

John P Mackintosh was MP for Berwick and East Lothian. He first made the case for devolution for Scotland in a speech to the Labour Party Scottish conference in 1958. He died in 1978.

Mr Salmond said it was "ironic" that Mr McConnell should choose the JP Mackintosh lecture to speak out against independence.

He said: "Professor Mackintosh spent his life arguing for change.

"However if he were alive today, and a Labour MSP, no doubt McConnell would have him languishing on the backbenches for being too talented."

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