As David Cameron heads to Scotland, Scottish ministers slam his move

As the date scheduled for Scottish independence referendum inches closer, the 'No' camp has sprung into action, with British Prime Minister David Cameron making a last-ditch effort to woo the Scots to stay with the United Kingdom, saying he wanted so 'desperately'.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 16:38 PM IST
As David Cameron heads to Scotland, Scottish ministers slam his move

London: As the date scheduled for Scottish independence referendum inches closer, the 'No' camp has sprung into action, with British Prime Minister David Cameron making a last-ditch effort to woo the Scots to stay with the United Kingdom, saying he wanted so 'desperately'.

In what signifies the urgency of the situation, PM David Cameron will join his rival Ed Miliband of Labour Party, and Deputy PM Nick Clegg on Wednesday to give Westminster's 'Prime Minister’s Questions' a miss, and instead fly to Scotland, to have a heart-to-heart chat with Scottish voters so as to convince them to stay with the UK.

The trip by three Westminster leaders to Scotland has been slammed by Scottish ministers with First Minister Alex Salmond calling it a "blunder" and Deputy First  Minister Nicola Sturgeon mocking the move as an act to "save their skin". 

Cameron, who has so far kept a low profile over the issue, spoke out over Scottish vote,  saying he cared passionately about the United Kingdom adding that “the UK is better off if we stay together”.

“So tomorrow the right place to be isn’t at Westminster at Prime Minister’s Questions, it’s being in Scotland, listening to people, talking to people,” said Cameron.

Writing on his Facebook page, Cameron told Scots that despite many differences, “there's one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together”.

In Scotland, Cameron said, he will be listening and talking to the voters there about the huge choices they have when they go to vote on September 18.

Dishing out a rhetoric aimed at convincing the Scots, Cameron said, "When slavery bound innocent people, we abolished it; when fascism threatened freedom, we defeated it. A hundred years ago, our boys went off to war together – and they did so as comrades, united by purpose and hope for a better world".

"As individuals and as nations, we have done extraordinary things. This is the special alchemy of the UK – you mix together Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and together we smash expectations," he added.

Cameron said his message to the Scottish people was simple - “We want you to stay”.

Cameron further made a strong case, when writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, he made clear his 'desperateness' for Scots to remain as a part of the UK, saying, "Let no one in Scotland be in any doubt: we desperately want you to stay; we do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart”.

Calling the United Kingdom a precious and special country, Cameron appeared wooing the Scots urging them to vote 'No' in the September 8 vote and keep enjoying “best of both worlds”, while at the same time, warning them of risking a “a leap into the dark” by voting 'Yes'.

"If the UK breaks apart, it breaks apart forever. So the choice for you is clear: a leap into the dark with a Yes vote, or a brighter future for Scotland by voting No,” said Cameron.

The latest storm in the 'No' camp was triggered when a poll for The Sunday times, put the 'Yes' votes at 49% and 'No' votes at 51%, in a remarkable first lead for the independence camp registered by YouGov, or any polling company.

The poll showed that the race between independence backers and pro-Union supporters was now neck-and-neck, sparking Scottish ministers' mockery at a UK government offer of more powers to Scotland.

Just hours after the poll results hit headlines, the UK government offered an olive branch to Scottish people, promising more powers to Scotland if they rejected independence during the vote. 

Speaking to the BBC, UK Chancellor George Osborne seemed to make a deal with the Scots, offering them more fiscal and tax autonomy if they stamped 'No' vote in the referendum.

The latest survey suggesting a close race between 'Yes' and 'No' votes has caused dark clouds of uncertaintly looming large over the United Kingdom, with the British pound plummeting to a 10-month low and Scotland-related companies witnessing a plunge.