Scottish Independence: Australian PM Tony Abbott says ‘No’
Tony Abbott said it is 'hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland'
Saturday 16 August 2014
The Australian Prime Minister has said he would prefer to see Scotland opt to stay as part of the union in yet another blow to the Scottish independence movement ahead of next month’s referendum.
Tony Abbott told The Times: “What Scots do is a matter for the Scots and not for a moment do I presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote.
“But as a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.”
The Australian PM joins US President Barack Obama and Chinese premier Li Keqiang in voicing support for the Better Together campaign.
He said that the “friends of justice, the friends of freedom” would not like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom.
A spokesman for Yes Scotland, which is campaigning for independence, commented: "The decision about Scotland's future is one for the people of Scotland to make - a point that even David Cameron asserts.
"After a Yes vote, Scotland will take her place as a normal and valued member of the international community - just as Australia did when she gained independence at the turn of the century."
The office of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said Abbott’s input is latest attempt by the UK government to use major international figures in their campaign against Scottish independence.
A spokesman said: "Tony Abbott has a reputation for gaffes, but his bewildering comments have all the hallmarks of one of the Westminster government's international briefings against Scotland.
"Scotland's referendum is a model of democracy, which has been cited as such internationally, including by the US Secretary of State. An independent Scotland will be a beacon for fairness, justice and cooperation in the international community - and a great friend of Australia."
Polls suggest that No Campaign, which once enjoyed considerable support, is increasingly losing ground to Better Together, with a recent YouGov survey finding that 61 per cent of Scots are planning to vote No to independence.
The referendum will be held on 18 September.
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...