UK & World News
Scots Independence: Warning Over North Sea Oil
David Cameron has warned Scotland the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry is at risk if it votes for independence.
The Prime Minister on Sunday insisted it was the UK's "broad shoulders" that would support investment in the key industry that would give a "vital boost" to Scottish communities for decades to come.
The importance of North Sea oil to Scotland's economy has made the future of the industry a politically sensitive issue in the independence debate.
Mr Cameron, who has refused a debate with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond ahead of the September 18 referendum, said: "For the past 300 years, Britain has led the way in finding new sources of energy.
"It is the strength of the UK's broad-based economy which can make the difference and ensure we can invest in our energy for the long-term future.
"I promise we will continue to use the UK's broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race."
Mr Cameron will on Monday host his Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen in another significant intervention in the referendum No campaign.
Meanwhile, Mr Salmond will is taking Scotland's Cabinet to nearby Portlethen on Monday.
Mr Cameron's latest intervention comes just weeks after he used the backdrop of the Olympic velodrome in Stratford, east London, to encourage people across the rest of the UK to call on Scotland to stay in the Union.
And after Chancellor George Osborne threatened Scotland that if there was a "messy divorce" and it left the UK, it would not be able to keep the pound.
Speaking to Sky News the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, denied Mr Cameron's comments on oil were just the latest in bullying tactics to deliver a "no" vote on independence.
He told Dermot Murnaghan: "What we are telling people in the northeast of Scotland, who have had a tremendous economic success on the back of the North Sea oil and gas industry, is that we've been able to do that as part of the United Kingdom, as part of a bigger economy that can withstand the shocks of a volatile international commodity and which is also now able to stand behind the industry in a more mature phase, offering opportunities for development through tax allowances and also the allowances that are being paid out for the decommissioning of some of the assets in the North Sea oil.
"It's a very positive story for the oil and gas industry as part of the United Kingdom, if people want to walk away from that positive story then it is for the nationalists to explain why they should do that."
He also welcomed the intervention into the independence debate by the pop star David Bowie, who issued a message at the Brit Awards through his spokeswoman, the fashion model, Kate Moss, saying: "Stay with us Scotland".
He said: "Look, I think it's great, I will take support from wherever I can get it."
It comes as a poll in the Sunday Express found 62% of Britons want Scotland to remain part of the UK.
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