Cameron denies 'yes' vote would force him out of No 10


Will David Cameron resign if Scotland votes "yes" to independence?

The prime minister has been asked the question twice during the last 24 hours - and given similar replies. Today, he told Radio 4's Today: "Absolutely not. I think it's important people know that because the vote is simply about one thing: does Scotland stay in the United Kingdom or does it separate from the United Kingdom It is not about anything else."

Yesterday, when asked by the BBC's Norman Smith if he would resign, he said: ""No and I think it is very important people understand that because it is not my name or anyone else's name on the ballot paper."

He added: "Of course, I want to see Scotland stay in the United Kingdom but I faced a choice in 2011 when the Scottish nationalists were elected to run the Scottish government. Do you have a referendum or do you have some massive fight with them saying 'no, no you can't possibly have this choice'?

"I thought the right thing to do, and this was backed by the other parties at the time, and I remain of the view it was the right thing to do, was to give the Scottish people a fair, legal and decisive referendum. That's what will happen.

"It was absolutely the right decision. You have to decide the prior question as it were - does Scotland want to stay in the United Kingdom or separate itself from the United Kingdom? Once you have settled that question, then you can properly engage with future acts of devolution - on which again I have a pretty good track record. We have a massive act of devolution coming through right now giving the Scottish parliament far more power to spend money as it chooses."

Had the prime minister given the alternative response - "yes, of course I'd go" - then it would have raised the (already high) stakes in the referendum and given supporters of independence an argument to sell to voters who don't like David Cameron.

The prime minister's future is an issue that has been bubbling away during the referendum campaign. Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has long argued that it is "inconceivable" David Cameron could survive in Downing Street if the Scots vote "yes". He has also suggested a vote for independence would lead to either a snap election or a caretaker government, although the former would presumably require an amendment to the Fixed Term Parliaments Act or Conservative MPs to vote for an election in less than ideal circumstances for their party.

Many questions about the consequences of September's referendum - such as the impact on Wales - can't be answered definitively until the votes have been counted. The prime minister's approach is supported by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies, who chairs the Welsh affairs committee. He tweeted: "If Scots want a say over who is PM they should vote 2 stay in Union. Hope they do-but not PM's fault if they vote out."

David Cameron must hope other Tory backbenchers agree - although if the Scots reject independence presumably the politician under most pressure to fall on his sword would be Alex Salmond.

David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Re M16, If this was true, then it would make the scottish referendum illegal and unconstitutional. As only scotch voters can take part, they could agree to the succession of their part of the UK from the union, but if they want to change the rUK international position, then all UK residents should have a vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    31 - yes I am anti UKIP and proud of it. I'm sure UKIP will do very well tomorrow but that will never change the fact that they are without doubt a nationalist and xenophobic party who include many racists in their line up of candidates and members. As an internationalist liberal I will always be anti UKIP and their fellow travellers of the extreme far-right..

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.


    And there was I thinking the Scots were going to vote for UKIP in record numbers!

    Your anti-UKIP ad homs are not only cherry-picked garbage seeking to misrepresent a whole party as being like a few individual misfits - they reek of desperation... And they're not even working!

    When you're in a hole - stop digging!

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Unfortunately the game changer for Salmond could come tomorrow when UKIP top the polls in England - an extreme far-right anti-immigrant, anti EU party, climate change deniers who want to strip Gays of their legal rights, and the equivalent of Le Pen’s NF - and for the first time many Scots will decide enough is enough and vote to turn away from a UK turning to extreme-far right nationalism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    You can't define other people's groupings by how you think they should be labelled. Just because you can't define the difference between a Free Church of Scotland'er and a Wee Free doesn't mean that they don't think the difference crucial.
    If you don't know the difference between 'Unionist ' and 'Little Englander' may I recommend 'Wiki'.


Comments 5 of 33



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