Good ship UK 'is sinking like the Titanic'

The United Kingdom is like the Titanic and it is now "just a question of how long it takes to sink", a senior Conservative MP claimed yesterday.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Government's announcement today of how independence from England might work, David Davies, chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee, suggested Wales was likely to follow Scotland down the path to independence.

The UK is "holed below the waterline", he said. "It's just a question of how long it takes to sink."

With a new opinion poll suggesting that half the population now believes the UK will not exist in 20 years, the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, will suggest today that an independent Scotland could be a beacon for innovation.

He will confirm that the country would still use Sterling as a currency, have the Queen as head of state and avoid the need for traditional borders controls with its southern neighbour.

The consultation document will attempt to paint objectors to independence as "scaremongers" and accentuate the positive aspects of independence from England.

Speaking ahead of the consultation, Mr Salmond said: "The pro-independence campaign will enthuse and engage people... with our positive vision for the future of the country."

An ICM poll yesterday put support for independence at 30 per cent with 63 per cent against. An Ipsos Mori poll suggested that 49 per cent of people think the UK will not exist in its current form in 20 years.

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