Scottish independence: David Cameron launches defence of UK

Prime Minister David Cameron Mr Cameron pledged to put the facts about independence to the public

Scotland should remain part of the UK because having two governments looking after its affairs offers "the best of both worlds", David Cameron has said.

The PM said on the No 10 website that he would use arguments of the "head and heart" to keep the UK together.

The UK government is preparing to release an analysis paper about Scotland's role in the Union, ahead of next year's referendum on independence.

The SNP accused the PM of focusing on "an entirely negative attack".

The Westminster government is publishing its first analysis paper on Monday - the same day the fiscal commission working group, which was set up by SNP leader Alex Salmond last March, publishes its economic proposals for an independent Scotland.

The working group said its document did not determine what path Scotland should take, but instead offered options for reform should Scots vote for independence.

Writing before the launch of the Westminster government's document, Mr Cameron pledged that his government would put the "facts" about Scottish independence to the public.

He said: "As one of Scotland's two governments, the UK government has a duty to help inform people with hard facts.

"So we'll be providing expert-based analysis to explain Scotland's place within the UK and how it might change with separation - and our first paper is published tomorrow.

"We don't shy away from putting facts and evidence before the Scottish people. This must not be a leap in the dark, but a decision made in the light of day."

The prime minister said the case for retaining the union focused on matters of the "head and heart".

Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond An economic framework for Scottish independence will be published on Monday

"It's about heart because our nations share a proud and emotional history," he said.

"Over three centuries we have built world-renowned institutions like the NHS and BBC, fought for freedom and democracy in two World Wars, and pioneered and traded around the world.

"Our ancestors explored the world together and our grandfathers went into battle together as do our kith and kin today - and this leaves deep, unbreakable bonds between the peoples of these islands."

But Mr Cameron said the case for the UK was about "our future as well as our past".

"I have no time for those who say there is no way Scotland could go it alone," he said.

"The real question is whether it should - whether Scotland is stronger, safer, richer and fairer within our United Kingdom or outside it. And here, I believe, the answer is clear."

'Closing credits'

He pointed out that Scotland had its own government and parliament in Edinburgh, with power over areas such as health and education.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore: "Opinion polls indicate that people want Scotland to stay part of the UK"

"Scots can take all of these decisions and more to meet the specific needs of Scotland," Mr Cameron said.

"And they can do so without losing the benefits of being part of the UK and having a full say in its future - economic strength and opportunity, international influence and national security."

The Scottish government, earlier in the week, published a "road map" from the referendum next year to full statehood in early 2016.

The 16-page "transition plan" said that, in the event of a "Yes" vote in the referendum, independence day for Scotland would be in March 2016, with the first elections to an independent parliament in May.

The prime minister criticised the SNP for discussing the final transition to independence, saying: "I know those arguing for independence are already preparing their separation transition plan, as though they've got this in the bag, but to me that is wrong.

"It's like fast-forwarding to the closing credits before you've been allowed to see the movie."

'Negative attack'

However, Scotland's deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, defended the move.

Nicola Sturgeon: "The benefit of independence is that it makes sure Scotland will always get the government it votes for"

She said: "The Electoral Commission has called on both sides of the independence debate to provide more information to the people of Scotland and to work together to discuss what will happen in the wake of the referendum.

"We have agreed with the Electoral Commission and published information about the transition to independence following a Yes vote.

"The prime minister's remarks suggest he is ignoring the Electoral Commission's advice - despite the previous calls of the Westminster government for the Scottish government to follow their advice.

She added: "Instead of spelling out a positive case, David Cameron is simply continuing with an entirely negative attack. The pro-independence campaign is making the positive case and preparing for the future.

"By placing himself at the head of the No campaign, David Cameron is simply reminding people that he heads a government that Scotland didn't vote for and that independence is the only way to ensure that Scotland always gets the government it votes for."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1030.

    So much rhetoric in support of Scottish independance. Makes you wonder why support for independance is as low as 29%.

    Ah yes, most Scots are too canny to believe the nonsense coming from the pro-independance camp.

    Scotland is far better off in the union. You have the best of both worlds as it is, your own parliament and the influence and voice the union provides in international affairs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1029.

    A real dilemma for Scotland......

    Alex Salmond or David Cameron

  • rate this

    Comment number 1028.

    We have more parliaments than you can throw a hat over,is this why we are in such a mess.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1027.

    I'm more concerned about what the benefits are if its a Yes, because all I've seen so far are the same arguments brought up time and time again with no real substance to back them up- who has stood up and guaranteed that things will remain the same or even improve if a split happens, forget politicians I'm talking about REAL ppl who know what their talking about and not just jumping on the wagon

  • rate this

    Comment number 1026.


    Bob - because Scotland is so like a third world military dictatorship isn't it.

    With arguments like that the No camp obviously doesn't think much of Scotland's economy or democratic institutions. Why don't we just cut to the chase and apply to the UN for aid?

  • Comment number 1025.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1024.

    Whilst there are a significant number of Scots who are anti English, it cannot be denied that there are a great many who are totally comfortable with the long established relationship which exists in the Union of our nations. Many families in the UK are 'coalitions' of Scots with English, and these people may be forced to take a Nationality if Britain is broken up. The status quo is worth keeping.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1023.

    15 Minutes ago

    >There is a Scottish parliament, Welsh parliament and NI parliament >and NO English parliament because everyone knows and accepts >that the UK parliament IS the English parliament.

    So why don't they stop voting in our Parliament especially when its something that only effects England.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1022.

    Alex Salmond gave the unionists the chance to put devo max on the ballot paper ' but in their haste to embarrass A.S the unionists managed to disenfranchise the 1/3 of people who would have voted devo max .
    The status quo is unacceptable to those who want more powers for Scotland and as the coalitions austerity measures bite harder these people will be more inclined to vote for independence .

  • rate this

    Comment number 1021.

    ' Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better .'

    - Albert Camus

  • Comment number 1020.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1019.

    Look with all this talk about England and Scotland, the forgotten nation of Wales still has to go cap in hand to Westminster, it is ridiculous that Wales sees no financial of Union with England, quite the reverse in fact,due to the fact that Welsh natural resources are used to benefit England, with no compensation, something has to be done, to rebalance things in light of this vote on independence

  • rate this

    Comment number 1018.

    I hope Scotland achieve independence, ok we'll have to put up with a couple of hundred more years of them moaning about the English but they'll get over it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1017.

    An extract from the Top Secret Mc Crone Report that Westminster does not want you to read.

    Yes the £250 billion pounds of Scottish oil revenue that has passed the Scottish people by, equates to us each forfeiting £1,628 per annum for the last 30 years totaling £48,000 and if we stay in the Union the Scot's could forfeit another £1.2 trillion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1016.

    Why should we look at Denmark, Finland, etc.. Why not Ireland or Iceland? The SNP have one list today and another list tomorrow of independent countries but so far no North Korea, Zimbabwe, Mali...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1015.


  • rate this

    Comment number 1014.

    996 Knut: What a silly comment. I can tell you one thing:- Alex Salmond knows more about Scottish history than George Osborne knows about economics. What does Nick Clegg know about?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1013.

    victory parts 959

    Our labour mp's can vote

    Our liberal mp's can vote and they nominally have a say in the current govt.

    And if labour get in again as they will, our influence will be even greater despite it being a scot that sunk the UK.

    What, tell me will be our voting ratios in the EU parliament, even assuming that it has any real power.

    you may think that we are powerless now.


  • rate this

    Comment number 1012.

    Two governments are one government too many,

    One, based in Scotland, looking after the interests of Scots would be preferable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1011.

    Forget the personalities, and 'll give you countless economic arguments for or against independence. There is only one reason why every Scot, everyone who loves our country has to vote yes . The reason is you can, No other generation has had this opportunity, no other generation will get this opportunity again. Pure and simple, if you are a Scot there is no choice you have to vote yes


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