Scottish independence: 'David Cameron's fingers are all over scaremongering campaign', Salmond claims

Kenny MacAskill criticised pro-union politicians for negative arguments

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 16 September 2014 09:54
Alex has an instinct for knowing what people want him to be
Alex has an instinct for knowing what people want him to be

David Cameron’s “fingerprints are all over a scaremongering campaign” against Scottish independence, Alex Salmond has claimed.

Repeating his allegation that the Treasury leaked information over Royal Bank of Scotland plans to move headquarters to England after a “yes” vote, the First Minister hit out during a meeting with Scottish business leaders at Edinburgh Airport on Monday.

“When you try to pressurise people, pressurise companies, as the Prime Minister has undoubtedly been doing and indeed the Treasury, then that's a different circumstance,” he said.

"I think people in Scotland will know the Prime Minister's fingerprints are all over the scaremongering campaign and the Treasury's fingerprints are all over the bank campaign."

Downing Street could not be reached for a comment.

Business leaders and financial chiefs have been among those raising concerns about secession, threatening to pull operations out of Scotland as a report claimed £17 billion had been drained from the UK economy because of growing uncertainty.

A Scottish MP described the “yes” campaign as “one of hope over fear” as polls continued to show strong support for independence with just days left until the referendum.

Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill

Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish National Party’s Justice Secretary, said: "I think our campaign is one of hope over fear.

"This is our chance to make sure that we end a situation where we have a Tory Government that we never voted for. And it has happened not once but many times.”

Speaking to BBC News, he criticised David Cameron and Ed Miliband for saying they “love [Scotland] and in the next sentence that pestilence and plague will befall our land if we have the audacity to vote for independence."

Both leaders are in Scotland in a last-minute scramble to maintain the union amid continued criticisms from nationalists that the “Better Together campaign” has been based on negativity and scaremongering about the Scottish economy.

“If Scotland votes yes, the UK will split, and we will go our separate ways forever.”

The UK Government has offered new powers and autonomy for Scotland in a so-called “devo-max” arrangement but Mr MacAskill said the people of Scotland "won't be fooled again" by the promises.

He said: "We had the Queen's speech, when he laid out a programme for government just a few months back and he didn't lay out any extra powers.

“We also know from history, we remember back in 1979, a former Tory premier said vote No and we'll make sure you'll get a better scheme and all we got was Margaret Thatcher.”

The polls will open in Scotland at 7am on Thursday, with the results expected to start coming in early on Friday.

Additional reporting by PA

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