Glasgow will take its rightful place alongside cities elsewhere in the UK

ON 18 September the people of Glasgow and Scotland will answer Yes or No to a proposal that we become an independent country.

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If we vote to break up Britain the implications are enormous, and there will be no going back.

However, if we are serious about growing the economy and decentralising Britain then, bluntly, we are being asked the wrong question.

Rather than secession, a far more productive debate is around how to repatriate powers and resources from both Holyrood and Westminster to our major cities.

We shouldn't be obsessing about which parliament controls what function. Both governments should have fewer powers.

This is, after all, a metropolitan age.

For the first time in history, humanity is an urban species.

According to the UN, more than half the world's population now live in cities, which are responsible for 75% of global economic production.

By 2050 two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities.

And yet in Scotland there's a separatist movement with strongly centralising tendencies and a default world-view that imagines that Glasgow has a closer affinity to Moray than to Liverpool or Manchester, simply because it's north of the Tweed. Nationalism can be irrational.

In contrast, I am delighted that last week Glasgow became a full and equal member of the Core Cities group.

We will take our rightful place alongside our sister cities elsewhere in the UK, with whom we have so much in common, both socially and economically.

Britain is too centralised, and Scotland is more centralised than England.

This holds back our economy.

The devolution of powers to Holyrood hasn't led to stronger Scottish local government.

Quite the opposite. And the city-region agenda is more advanced in England, albeit there's a long way to go.

Once the distraction of the referendum is behind us, Britain as a whole must increasingly engage with the city-region agenda.

It's the means by which we will achieve sustainable and balanced growth. And frankly it's a more progressive, modern and economically robust form of constitutional change than erecting a border at Carlisle.

THOUSANDS of people lined the city's streets on Friday to cheer on the Scottish athletes who did us all proud at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow's Games were quite simply the best ever. As a city, we rose to the challenge and delivered on a global scale.

So too did our athletes who achieved a record medal haul for Team Scotland.

They are a credit to Scotland.

The athletes' parade gave us the chance to celebrate their success, and to recognise the hard work and commitment of all of the staff, visitors and volunteers who made Glasgow's Games the enormous success story they were.

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