Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, set out his vision for independence, whilst delivering the annual Hugo Young lecture in London on 24 January 2012.
He said independence would give Scotland the tools, such as corporation tax and alcohol excise duty, which would help to promote economic recovery and improve people's lives.
Mr Salmond also claimed that Scotland could be a "beacon for progressive opinion south of the border".
The Hugo Young lecture is in its eighth year and was set up in honour of the late Guardian columnist, who died in 2003.
The 2010 lecture was made by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and in 2009 it was delivered by David Cameron.
Mr Salmond's speech came a day before he set out details of the referendum which is due to take place in 2014.