In a passionate appeal to Scottish voters Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the rest of the Britain “desperately wants the nation to stay”, and warned there will be no second chances after next week’s referendum in Scotland.
“If the UK breaks apart, it breaks apart for ever,” said Cameron, who arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, Wednesday, the same day as Opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also did.
The three British leaders made unscheduled trips to Scotland to try to rally the ‘No campaign’ as London and Edinburgh wrangle to win supporters for their respective agenda over Scotland’s future.
In an opinion piece titled “Our Union is precious. Do not tear it apart” in the Daily Mail, the British prime minister acknowledged that although there was a lot that divides Britain, there was one thing on which it agrees passionately – “Britain is better together”.
Cameron, in his message, said: “So, 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.”
The Conservative Party leader stated that the Scots can have the best of both the worlds in Britain. The prime minister also argued that the referendum was not about “Scotland versus Britain” but two competing visions of Scotland.
A 12-point plan by former prime minister Gordon Brown offered new powers to Scotland for job creation, economic and social investment, land use, housing benefits, social care, income tax and holding elections, among others, if Scottish people decide in favour of a ‘No’ vote in the Sep 18 referendum.
“With this timetable, we are giving people that clarity, showing that by voting ‘No’, Scotland gets the best of both worlds: power over the policies that matter, and the stability of Britain; the freedom to chart its own destiny, and the support of three other nations; the reputation in the world as a successful nation, and the clout of a world-renowned union,” he said.
He also slammed those supporting Scottish independence, saying they were still unclear on what money Scotland could use without the pound sterling and on whether they would enter the European Union.
The Scottish government and its ruling Scottish National Party have been campaigning for Scotland’s independence, saying that being an independent country can create a “more democratic, more prosperous and fairer” society for Scotland.
Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond signed the Edinburgh Agreement in October 2012 to allow Scotland to hold an independence referendum this year.