Scottish independence referendum: UK PM Cameron says he's 'nervous'

British Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that he's nervous about the Scottish Independence referendum.

Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 00:56 AM IST
Scottish independence referendum: UK PM Cameron says he's 'nervous'

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that he's nervous about the Scottish Independence referendum.

In an interview to Scottish daily, Cameron said that he is emotional and nervous, but believe that the silent majority of the Scotland will save the Union. "I'm nervous because it matters so much," he said.

Yesterday, Cameron continued with his visit to Scotland which is said to be his penultimate before the vote could define his preimership and the fate of the Union.

He even shrugged off controversies launching an attack on separation campaign and said the abuse of recent days is unacceptable and 'should not be part of the democratic process.

The world is holding its breath but mostly hoping Scotland will vote "No" to independence from Britain in Thursday`s referendum.

For reasons of self-interest and geopolitics, major powers from Beijing to Washington and Moscow to New Delhi are quietly praying the United Kingdom holds together and does not create a contagious precedent of state fragmentation in unstable times.

Among London`s European Union partners, Germany has said openly it would prefer Britain to stay together while other countries, notably Spain, Belgium and Italy, are hoping the Scottish vote does not create or exacerbate problems for their own national cohesion.

Russia and China, often at loggerheads with Britain in the United Nations Security Council, have strong domestic grounds to avoid wishing for the old imperial nation`s discomfiture, since both are keen to stifle separatism at home. 

Almost the only groups around the globe rooting for Scottish sovereignty are peoples without a separate state of their own, from Catalans in Spain to Kashmiris in India and Kurds scattered across Turkey, Iraq and Iran, many of whom yearn for self-determination.

he Catalan regional government in Barcelona wants to call its own non-binding independence referendum for Nov. 9, but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday described this and the Scottish vote as "a torpedo below the waterline of the European spirit".

The United States has made clear it wants Britain to remain a "strong, robust, united and effective partner", in President Barack Obama`s words, while saying it was Scotland`s choice.

London has long been Washington`s most loyal and willing ally in the NATO defence pact and in military interventions in the Middle East and beyond, although that activism was called into question last year when the British parliament voted against joining proposed air strikes against Syria.

"The U.S. has really hoped it wouldn`t need a policy on this and that the independence issue would just go away," said Fiona Hill, a former U.S. National Intelligence Council specialist on Europe now at the Brookings Institution think-tank.

"No one really believed it was a possibility until the last few weeks. Now they are really having to start thinking about it," she said.

A large opinion poll lead for opponents of Scottish independence has shrunk dramatically over the summer and the "no" side is now only marginally ahead in most surveys.

U.S. defence officials have aired concerns about the practical complications of dealing with an independent Scotland, which builds Britain`s aircraft carriers and hosts its only nuclear submarine base. U.S. diplomats also fear a break-up of the United Kingdom would weaken both parts economically and make a British exit from the EU more likely, weakening Washington`s influence inside the bloc.

If Scotland votes to go its own way, Washington will want it in the EU and NATO, Hill said.

(With AFP inputs)