Scottish independence: Cameron pleads with Scotland 'not to rip the UK apart' in referendum

Westminster leaders will be campaigning in Scotland for a 'No' vote today

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The Independent Online

David Cameron has delivered a personal appeal to the people in Scotland, urging them not to “rip apart” the United Kingdom when they cast their votes on 18 Sepember.

The Prime Minister’s letter begins with a warning to those “writing the UK’s future in indelible ink” that there will be “no turning back” from independence.

He reiterated the promise of a cross-party deal to devolve more powers to Scotland in a package outlined by Gordon Brown on Monday, including major new powers over tax, spending and welfare.

In his letter printed in the Daily Mail, he writes: “Power for Scotland over how much money it borrows, what taxes it raises, how it spends that money – all agreed by November, all put into draft legislation by January.

“If we pull together, we can keep on building a better future for our children. We can make sure our destiny matches our history, because there really will be no second chances. If the UK breaks apart, it breaks apart forever.

“Let no one in Scotland be in any doubt: we desperately want you to stay; we do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart.”

His impassioned plea follows worrying results for the No campaign, with recent polls indicating a surge of support for Alex Salmond’s pro-independence campaign. A TNS survey found 39 per cent of people said they would vote to stay together, while 38 per cent said they would back the Yes campaign.

 

In what was widely conceived as a sign of panic within Westminster, the Conservative leader announced he would not be at the Prime Minister’s Questions and is due to travel to Scotland with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband on Wednesday.

Mr Cameron has until now been largely absent from Scotland and his sudden decision to campaign there saw the Scottish First Minister hail Tuesday “the day the No campaign fell apart at the seams”.

"If I thought they were coming by bus I'd send the bus fare," Mr Salmond said, describing Mr Cameron as the most unpopular Conservative leader ever among Scots, and Mr Miliband the most distrusted Labour leader.

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