Cameron: More power for Scotland if it rejects independence

  • @johnmatthewhall

David Cameron admitted he made little progress in today’s talks with Alex Salmond on Scottish independence, but said he will consider a further devolution of powers if voters vote no in a prospective referendum.

Speaking shortly after a face-to-face meeting with the Scottish First Minister, Cameron reiterated his commitment to political union between Scotland and England, saying it was his ‘absolute priority’.

The Prime Minister said voters in Scotland should be presented with a "simple, straightforward and legal" question on Scottish independence as soon as possible, and confirmed he would consider a further devolution of powers if voters reject independence in a referendum.

Cameron described today’s talks in Edinburgh as generally ‘constructive’ but added there had not been much progress on the issue of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.

Earlier today the Prime Minister used a speech in Edinburgh to set out his defence of more than 300 years of political union between Scotland and England.

He said the referendum result would not be "the end of the road”, adding he was open to looking at how devolution could be improved and extended once the referendum was over.

Cameron said: “That must be a question for after the referendum, when Scotland has made its choice about the fundamental question of independence or for the United Kingdom, when Scotland has settled this question once and for all - and ended the uncertainty that could damage and hold back Scotland's prospects and potential."

Alex Salmond wants to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 – the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The leader of the Scottish National Party, which formed a majority government in the Scottish Parliament in 2011, has suggested allowing a second question on to the ballot paper specifically on the broadening of devolved powers for Scotland.

The idea has been criticised for muddying the waters on the independence question, and for being a fall-back option in the event of a no vote.