The ‘Nos’ have it at Perth & Kinross Youth Council’s independence question time

More than half the Perth and Kinross pupils who took part in a special debate on Scottish independence said the country should remain part of the UK.

The Young Person’s Question Time held at the North Inch Community Campus in Perth on Wednesday allowed S4-6 students from across the region to discuss questions arising from the Scottish referendum in 2014.

Hundreds of teenagers attended the event, which featured questions as diverse as whether the monarch would remain relevant in an independent Scotland, to what industries would support the independent economy.

Calum Wilson, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament at St John’s Academy, asked whether an independent Scotland would have a stronger voice in an in/out referendum on EU membership than it would as part of the UK.

The majority agreed with the Yes campaign’s position that, as Scotland’s voters are outnumbered 11 to one, their voice would be stronger in an independent country.

The pupils were asked at the start and end of the session whether they thought Scotland should separate from the UK, with 51% saying they would like to remain part of Great Britain.

In the first round of voting, just 18% said they would like to see Scotland split from the rest of the UK, while 31% remained undecided. By the end of the session, that had swung to 46% being in favour of independence, while just 4% remained on the fence.

The number opposing independence remained at 51%.

Asked whether they would vote for Devo-Max, were they given the option, 53% said yes, while 40% said no, and 7% were not sure.

Pupils were also encouraged to engage in social media during the event, using the hashtag #YPQT on Twitter.

The event, thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland, was chaired by Courier deputy editor and former political editor Steve Bargeton.

The panel of four answering the questions were Councillor Dave Doogan, for the Yes Scotland campaign; Michaela Drummond, of the Better Together campaign; chief executive of Young Scot, Louise MacDonald; and Rory MacLeod, the director of the Community Learning Development Standards Council.

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