Monday 9 December 2019

There will be no way back for Scotland, warns Cameron

Bob Geldof addresses an anti-independent rally at Trafalgar Square in London ahead of Thursday's Scottish independence referendum. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Bob Geldof addresses an anti-independent rally at Trafalgar Square in London ahead of Thursday's Scottish independence referendum. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
An Edinburgh bakery selling Yes, No or Undecided cupcakes as part of an unusual poll for the independence referendum says sales are indicating that the No campaign might have found the recipe for success. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
SNP leader Alex Salmond makes a call to the Yes camp at Edinburgh Airport. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Matthew Holehouse

British Prime Minister David Cameron last night made a last passionate speech in Aberdeen, warning Scots that millions of people across the UK will be left "utterly heartbroken" if they vote for independence in Thursday's referendum.

In what will be his final visit before the historic vote, Mr Cameron warned that Thursday's referendum was a "once and for all" decision as he made a last-ditch trip to Scotland to urge voters to save the union.

He said: "On Thursday, Scotland votes, and the future of our country is at stake.

"On Friday, people could be living in a different country, with a different place in the world and a different future ahead of it.

"This is a decision that could break up our family of nations, and rip Scotland from the rest of the UK.

"And we must be very clear. There's no going back from this. No re-run. This is a once-and-for-all decision.

"If Scotland votes Yes, the UK will split, and we will go our separate ways forever."

He said the country had "only become Great Britain because of the greatness of Scotland".

He said: "I speak for millions of people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – and many in Scotland, too who would be utterly heart-broken by the break-up of the United Kingdom. Utterly heart-broken to wake up on Friday morning to the end of the country we love."

Mr Cameron argued that separation would mean a new currency for Scotland, families separated, pensions sliced up and a border created with England. He said a Scottish exit from the Union would be like "painstakingly building a home – and then walking out the door and throwing away the keys."

Mr Cameron also paid lavish tribute to Scots' contribution to the "greatest example of democracy the world has ever known".

But Alex Salmond, the First Minister, retorted: "The next time he comes to Scotland it will not be to love-bomb or engage in desperate last-minute scaremongering. Following a Yes vote it will be to engage in serious post-referendum talks in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK, as pledged in the Edinburgh Agreement."

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, will spend the next two days on the campaign trail in an attempt to stop the defection of party supporters to the Yes camp. He will insist today that a No vote will lead to wide-ranging further devolution of powers to Holyrood.

Meanwhile, a series of major figures in US politics and economics have warned Scots against a Yes vote. Alan Greenspan, former US Federal Reserve chairman, said the economic consequences would be "surprisingly negative for Scotland, more so than the Nationalist party is in any way communicating".

Mr Cameron's visit comes after David Beckham, added his name to a petition of English celebrities who say they want the Scots to stay.

The celebrity group, 'Let's Stay Together', organised a public rally last night in London's Trafalgar Square yesterday where Bob Geldof was one of the main speakers.

It was the pro-independence camp's turn the night before when a host of Scottish rock stars including the bands Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai played a concert in Edinburgh.

Singer Amy McDonald told the audience: "People fight and die for this (independence) and all we have to do is put a little cross in a box. Scotland, you know what to do."

Opinion polls indicate the vote is hard to call. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News