Cameron seeks independence referendum clarity
- 8 January 2012
- From the section Scotland politics
David Cameron has indicated that he intends to seize the initiative over a referendum on Scottish independence.
He told Andrew Marr, in a BBC interview, that "in the coming days" the UK government will set out the legal position concerning a vote on Scotland's constitutional position.
The prime minister said uncertainty was damaging Scotland's economy.
The Scottish government has said it will hold a referendum towards the end of its term in office.
Mr Cameron said greater clarity was needed on the timing of the vote.
He told Andrew Marr: "I think it's very unfair on the Scottish people themselves who don't really know when this question is going to be asked, what the question is going to be, who's responsible for asking it.
"And I think we owe the Scottish people something that is fair, legal and decisive.
"So in the coming days we'll be setting out clearly what the legal situation is, and I think we need to move forward and say, 'Right, let's settle this issue in a fair and decisive way'."
The Scottish government has insisted that it should determine the timing and form of a referendum.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The position is very clear - the Scottish Government achieved an overwhelming mandate from the people of Scotland to hold the referendum in the second half of this parliamentary term, and that is exactly what we will do."
David Cameron claimed the position of the Scottish government was a deliberate attempt to influence the result on any vote.
He said: "Let's not drift apart.
"I think what Alex Salmond is trying to do - I think he knows the Scottish people, at heart, don't want a full separation from the United Kingdom - and so he's trying to sort of create a situation where that bubbles up and happens.
"Whereas I think we need some decisiveness, so we can clear up this issue."