Scottish independence: Warnings over pound ‘swaying undecided voters’ as poll shows strong lead for 'No' vote

Support grows for unionist cause after attacks on plans for EU and pound by Barroso and Osborne

Whitehall Editor

A cross-party warning from Westminster that an independent Scotland would not be able to keep the pound appeared Sunday to have boosted the unionist cause.

A new poll, conducted after George Osborne's intervention and a separate warning by the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, that an independent Scotland would not automatically be able to join the EU, seems to have had an effect on undecided voters.

Support for a "no" vote has climbed 5 points to 49 per cent in the space of a month and now enjoys a 12-point gap over the pro-independence side, which is unchanged on 37 per cent. It suggests a significant number of undecideds have shifted to the "no" camp.

Two-thirds of people said they thought it would be in Scotland's best interests to keep the pound after independence, while 12 per cent say the country should have its own currency. However, the poll for Scotland on Sunday found that most Scots believed the country would secure EU membership, despite warnings from the Commission that this could prove "impossible".

The poll comes ahead of a UK Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen on Monday, just seven miles from where the First Minister, Alex Salmond, is holding his weekly meeting in Portleven. It will be only the second time in more than 90 years that the full UK Cabinet will have met in Scotland.

Mr Cameron hopes to use the event to highlight the importance of the North Sea oil and gas industry which, he will argue, is more secure as part of the larger UK economy. The meeting will coincide with the formal publication of a report by Sir Ian Wood into maximising the potential of the industry, which could be worth £200 billion to Britain over the next 20 years.

Mr Cameron will accept all the main recommendations of Sir Ian's review, including the creation of a new regulator to increase collaboration between companies to explore and develop new wells.

The Treasury points out that tax revenues from oil and gas in 2012-13 were £4.7 billion or more than 40 per cent lower than the year before. It argues that while the UK's diverse economy is able to absorb this volatility, this equates to more than a third of Scotland's health budget or two thirds of its spending on education. 

"For many years the UK has supported the North Sea oil and gas industry and we have worked together to make this an economic success the whole country can be proud of," Mr Cameron said. "I promise we will continue to use the UK's broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race."

Yesterday's poll found that 46 per cent of Scots believe a "yes" vote would bad for the economy, while just 35 per cent believe it would be good. Just over half (51 per cent) say inequality levels will remain unchanged or even get worse after a "yes" vote.

Blair McDougall, of the Better Together Campaign, said he was pleased by the poll results. "It is encouraging that undecideds, the group of Scots who are key to this referendum, are overwhelmingly moving in favour of Scotland remaining a strong and proud part of the UK," he said.

But Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins claimed the ICM poll indicated that the "yes" campaign is still gaining political momentum. "The ‘no'  campaign's continued negativity, especially from its leaders in George Osborne and David Cameron, shows that when they say Scotland can't, increasing numbers of Scots are saying, ‘Yes we can'."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering