London: With just 9 days to go until the Scottish independence referendum, the UK government appeared offering an olive branch to Scottish people, promising more powers to Scotland if they rejected independence during the vote. The British government's offers have triggered mockery from the opposition camp with many from 'Yes Scotland' group calling it as an indication that "Better Together" campaign was in panic.
However, Alistair Darling, the head of "Better Together'' campaign has denied the 'panic' remarks, saying the promises to offer more powers were already announced.
"This isn't the Battle of Britain- it's the battle for Scotland, for our children & generations to come. It's a battle we will win," Darling wrote on Twitter after a YouGov poll suggested that the Yes voters for the first time had registered a narrow lead over the 'No' camp.
Speaking to the BBC, UK Chancellor George Osborne seemed to make a deal with the Scots, offering them more fiscal and tax autonomy if the stamped No vote in the referndum.
"You will see in the next few days a plan of action to give more powers to Scotland; more tax powers, more spending powers, more powers over the welfare state....That will be put into effect the moment there is a 'No' vote in the referendum," the BBC quoted him as saying.
The UK government's offer came on a day when a poll for The Sunday times, put the Yes vote at 49% and No vote at 51%, in a remarkable first lead for the independence camp registered by YouGov, or any polling company, since the surveys began for the Sep 18 independence referendum.
— YouGov (@YouGov) September 6, 2014
The YouGov poll pegged the independence backers at a narrow but first two point lead over those against it, in blow to the government's “Better Together” campaign.
The YouGov poll shows that opposition to independence has fallen from 53% to 49% in last week as the last survey conducted a week ago showed No voters at 6 points ahead of Yes voters.
However the statistics came as a happy news for the 'Yes Scotland' camp that claimed that Scotland will be the wealthiest country ever to have gained its independence.
"Scotland is, according to the Financial Times, one of the top twenty wealthiest countries in the world. Over the past five years, Scotland has been better off than the UK as a whole to the tune of £1,600 per person. And we’ve generated more tax per head than the rest of the UK in each of the last 33 years," said the independence backers on its website.
— Yes Scotland (@YesScotland) September 8, 2014
Slamming government's offer of more powers as a “bribe”, Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a tweet lambasted the government's Better Together campaign, saying it was in panic as the race got closer.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 7, 2014
Also, Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond hailed the poll lead grabbed by Independence backers saying, “Polls today show Yes support growing as people wake up to the opportunity independence offers to build a fairer, prosperous society”.