Scottish independence: No 10 silent on David Cameron's future if Yes vote wins the day - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

 

Scottish independence: No 10 silent on David Cameron's future if Yes vote wins the day

Spokesman says 'it's a hypothetical issue' as to whether Prime Minister would resign over independence

Downing Street last night refused to comment on mounting speculation that David Cameron would be forced to resign if Scotland votes for independence in September.

While remaining behind in the polls, the Yes campaign has narrowed the gap over recent weeks to four points, and there are fears inside Whitehall that Scottish voters will back independence, triggering a constitutional crisis.

In a speech in Bruges tomorrow, Alex Salmond will declare that Scotland makes a significant contribution to the European Union through its "vast natural resources and human talent" which would be bolstered if the nation won independence.

But in response, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is expected to claim in a speech on Wednesday that the Scottish government has made uncosted policy pledges and "over-optimistic assumptions" about its oil revenues and energy reserves.

The two speeches reflect the growing bitterness in the referendum battle, and come just days after another setback for the pro-Unionists. The Confederation of British Industry was forced to reverse its decision to register with the Electoral Commission as a "non-party participant" campaigning in favour of a No vote, after a number of firms and organisations left the group in protest. There are now further signs of jitters inside government and in Better Together, the umbrella group fighting to keep the United Kingdom. Writing in The Times, the respected political commentator Matthew Parris said that under a Yes vote on 18 September: "I cannot see a picture in which the Prime Minister who conjured that referendum out of nowhere simply carries on."

Responding to the article, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "We don't answer hypothetical questions. There are a lot of people commentating on it who ought to get stuck into arguing for what they believe."

In his Bruges address, Scotland's First Minister is expected to say: "Scotland's vast natural resources and human talent make it one of the linchpins of the European Union. Our huge energy reserves, our economic and financial contribution, our fishing grounds, our academic, cultural and social links, and our commitment to the founding values of the European ideal place us at the very heart of the EU."

Mr Salmond will lay Scottish claim to 25 per cent of Europe's offshore wind and tidal potential and 60 per cent of the EU's oil reserves, adding: "But our importance to the European Union stretches further. As one of the wealthiest countries, Scotland is a net financial contributor to the EU and will remain so as an independent member."

Yet Mr Alexander, in his speech in Edinburgh, will say it is time to start "busting the myths around Scottish independence". In a few weeks, the Treasury will publish a "major fiscal analysis" on the benefits of the UK and the costs of independence.

Treasury officials say that there is an absence of detailed costings from Mr Salmond's government, which is hiding how economically damaging independence would be to Scotland.

Mr Alexander said: "The Scottish Government's White Paper contained lots of promises, but nothing credible to back it up.

"People are beginning to realise that they can't answer even the most basic questions. If their promises seem too good to be true, it's because they are."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week