Cameron to Scotland: Please Don’t Go

(Reuters) -
Prime Minister David Cameron (C) speaks to manager Derek Minto (L) during a visit to Baillie Signs in Edinburgh, Wednesday. (REUTERS/Andrew Milligan/Pool)
Prime Minister David Cameron (C) speaks to manager Derek Minto (L) during a visit to Baillie Signs in Edinburgh, Wednesday. (REUTERS/Andrew Milligan/Pool)

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday begged Scots not to rip apart the United Kingdom’s “family of nations”, flying to Scotland to man the barricades against a surge in support for independence eight days before a referendum.

Cameron appealed to Scots to use their heads and their hearts when they voted on Sept. 18. He reminded them of their shared history and bonds with England, Wales and Northern Ireland — twice evoking World War Two and the fight against Hitler.

He also warned that an independent Scotland could not keep the pound currency, jobs would head south, and the country’s security be weakened.

“I would be heartbroken if this family of nations was torn apart,” said Cameron, speaking to staff of the Scottish Widows financial institution in the capital Edinburgh.

Cameron’s visit was a sign of the panic that has gripped the British ruling elite over the possible disintegration of the 307-year-old union since two polls in the past showed the campaign for independence, led by Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party, gaining support to run neck-and-neck with the “No” campaign, which until a few weeks ago was looking comfortably ahead.

There was some relief for unionists when a poll released on Wednesday evening showed 53 percent of Scots would vote against a split, with 47 percent intending to opt for independence — unchanged from its last survey on Aug. 28.

The figures from the poll, carried out by Survation for the Daily Record, excluded 10 percent of undecided.

British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who leads the Liberal Democrats, and opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband also crossed the border on Wednesday to shore up support. All three parties have offered Scotland greater autonomy as an enticement to vote against independence.