UK & World News

  • 7 February 2014, 11:22

'We Want You To Stay' PM Tells Scotland

The Prime Minister used the backdrop of the Olympic stadium to encourage people in the rest of UK to beg Scotland not to leave them.

In his most significant intervention in the referendum No campaign, David Cameron told the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland: "You don't have a vote but you do have a voice."

Mr Cameron, who has refused to debate with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, said that to part with Scotland would "rip the rug" from under the UK's global reputation.

He said the rest of the UK must send a clear message: "We want you to stay".

Speaking at the Stratford landmark that epitomises the success of a united Great Britain, Mr Cameron said: "It's Team GB I want to talk about today - our United Kingdom."

The medal-winning stars of 2012, notably included Scots Sir Chris Hoy and Andy Murray.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branded Mr Cameron's choice of venue as "shameful".

She said: "This is a cowardly speech from a prime minister who uses the Olympic Park in London to give high-handed lectures against Scotland's independence but hasn't got the guts to come to Scotland or anywhere else to make his case in a head-to-head debate.

"David Cameron, as the Tory Prime Minister, is the very embodiment of the democratic case for a Yes vote for an independent Scotland - and he knows it."

Despite polls suggesting Scotland will vote no to independence, Mr Cameron urged English people not to be complacent about the result which is "up in the air".

He said: "My argument today is that though only four million people can vote in this referendum, all 63 million of us are profoundly affected.

"There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19 in a different country, with a different future ahead of it.

"That's why this speech is addressed not to the people of Scotland, but to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

"We would be deeply diminished without Scotland. This matters to all our futures. And everyone in the UK can have a voice in this debate."

Last month, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned separation from the rest of the UK would have "clear risks" for Scotland's economy.

Senior Tories have accused Alistair Darling, who is leading the "Better Together" battle to keep the Union, of running a "comatose" campaign.

However, Mr Cameron has publicly supported Mr Darling's attempt to ensure a no vote in the September 18 referendum.

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