Did the British Government ask Barack Obama to speak out against Scottish independence?
A Scottish Government source told Sky Downing Street had intervened
Monday 09 June 2014
Barack Obama’s unexpected intervention in the Scottish independence debate may have come after a request from Downing Street, according to Government sources.
The US President gave a surprise boost to the “Better Together” campaign at the G7 summit in Brussels last week.
Standing next to David Cameron, he called on Britain to remain “a strong, robust, united and effective partner”.
He was asked to give his opinion on the vote at a press conference with just 100 days to go until the referendum.
Mr Obama began by stating that it was ultimately “up to the people of Scotland”, but added that the UK had been “an extraordinary partner” to the US and “it look[ed] like things have worked pretty well”.
He said: “We obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner.”
US diplomats have previously said that the country would stay out of both the independence and EU membership debates going on in the UK.
According to sources speaking to Sky, the President had been asked to state the British Government’s case to keep the union.
The broadcaster’s reporter, Niall Paterson, said “a very senior source” in the Scottish government claimed one of the President’s aides confirmed his comments followed a direct request from the UK Government.
There has been speculation that the “source” was lying to support the “yes” campaign or that contact with Mr Obama’s office was misinterpreted and he was merely responding to a question.
Downing Street has not yet responded to our request for a comment.
Read more: Obama backs 'no' campaign
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire