David Cameron evokes his heritage as he tells Scots 'we want you to stay'
PM warned the world would lose 'something very powerful and precious' if the UK's 'family of nations' broke up forever
Friday 07 February 2014
David Cameron evoked his own family's Scottish heritage as he set out an economic, political, cultural and emotional case for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.
In his most high-profile intervention in the debate on Scottish independence, the Prime Minister warned that the world would lose "something very powerful and precious" if the UK's "family of nations" broke up forever.
Speaking at the Olympic Park in east London, Mr Cameron called on the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to send a message to Scotland as it prepares to vote on September 18: "We want you to stay."
Independence would be bad for Scotland but would also leave the United Kingdom "deeply diminished" and would "rip the rug from under our own reputation" in the world, Mr Cameron said.
Separation would not only cost the UK some of its economic, political and diplomatic "clout" in the world, but would also tear up an "intricate tapestry" of human connections and relationships which mean that "for millions of people, there is no contradiction in being proud of your Scottishness, Englishness and Britishness - sometimes all at once".
Recalling that the name Cameron stems from the West Highlands, the Prime Minister said: "I am as proud of my Scottish heritage as I am of my English heritage.
"The name Cameron might mean 'crooked nose' but the clan motto is 'Let us unite' - and that's exactly what we in these islands have done."
Mr Cameron was accused by Scottish National Party Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of a "shameful" attempt to hijack the Olympic spirit for political purposes on the day when the Winter Games begin in Russia.
And Ms Sturgeon branded him "cowardly" for refusing to debate head to head with First Minister Alex Salmond.
The Prime Minister has previously acknowledged that his image as a "Tory toff from the Home Counties" does not make him a good figurehead for the No campaign in the referendum debate.
But he said: "Frankly, I care far too much to stay out of it. This is personal.
"Our great United Kingdom - brave, brilliant, buccaneering, generous, tolerant, proud - this is our country.
"And we built it together. Brick by brick, Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, brick by brick.
"This is our home - and I could not bear to see that home torn apart. I love this country.
"I love the United Kingdom and all it stands for. And I will fight with all I have to keep us together."
Warning supporters of the Union that they have only "seven months to save the most extraordinary country in history", he said: "Think of what we've done together - what we can do together - what we stand for together.
"Team GB. The winning team in world history. Let us stick together for a winning future too."
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Chargehand to join ...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...