David Cameron tells Scotland: 'We want you to stay'

The Prime Minister has made his highest-profile intervention in the debate on Scottish independence so far by calling on England, Wales and Northern Ireland to persuade Scotland to stay in the union. His call comes ahead of September's referendum.

Live updates

Scottish ex-Olympic champion: No vote better for sport

Former Olympic champion sprinter Allan Wells has told ITV News voting 'no' to Scottish independence will be better for sport.

He spoke after David Cameron recalled the spirit of the London Games, which he said showed the combined strength of Team GB.

Mr Wells, who won gold in the 100m in Moscow in 1980, said Scottish athletes would lose out on opportunities for medals, as well as training with the best in Britain, if Scotland were to vote for independence:

Advertisement

Salmond urges Cameron to debate vote in Scotland

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has dismissed David Cameron's speech on the Scottish referendum as "flimsy" and urged him to debate the issue in Scotland, rather than issue "edicts from Mount Olympus".

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Salmond said:

"Let's have a genuine democratic debate. If the Prime Minister is not prepared to accept that, people are going to start to ask: 'What is he frightened of?'"

  1. Martin Geissler

Cameron's speech aimed at whole of UK, not Scotland

David Cameron's speech on Scotland was an appeal to keep the union together. Credit: ITV News

There were no real surprises in David Cameron's speech today, but there were a few hackles raised by where he chose to say it from.

But David Cameron is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, in Scotland.

He has three options on this referendum debate:

He either says nothing, in which case he's accused of ignoring a huge issue.

He can come up to Scotland and tell people how to vote, in which case he is accused of interfering.

Or he does what he did today: makes a speech from London, in which case it is said to be cowardice.

I think he would have stayed out of it for a while longer, but he has noticed what a lot of people up here have been talking about for a while.

The last six successive opinion polls in Scotland have shown a definite swing towards support for the pro-independence Yes campaign.

The unionists are still in front, but the gap is narrowing.

This was a speech not just to the Scots, but to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, saying to people there: "You might not have a vote, but you've got a voice. Please use it to help keep this union together."

PM 'will fight with everything I have to keep us together'

Prime Minister David Cameron ended his speech on Scottish independence with an call to arms against complacency saying "we have seven months, and we must do whatever it takes" to keep the United Kingdom together.

Speaking from the Olympic Stadium in London, he said:

"Let the message ring out. We want you to stay. Think of what we have done together, what we can do together, what we stand for together. Team GB is the winning team in the history of the world. Let us stick together for a winning future too."

Advertisement

Scottish ex-champion boxer Alex Arthur calls for yes vote

Alex Arthur, former WBO featherweight champion and Commonwealth Games Gold medalists said it was wrong for David Cameron to lecture people in Scotland about why they should stay in the UK.

Alex Arthur said the proudest moment in his career was when he won for Scotland. Credit: Reuters

In a statement to ITV News following Cameron's impassioned plea for unity, he said:

"The proudest moment in my career is winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur for the sole fact that I won it for Scotland and I won it wearing the blue vest. If we were an independent nation we could also be competing at the Olympics.

"I’ve boxed all over the world including countries like Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden. They’re all small countries, most of them with less than 10 million people, and they’re absolutely fine.

"I believe that we’d be a better country if we were independent, I think we can definitely look after ourselves and I think it’s better for the future of our youth and our people that we vote Yes in September.

‘It’s wrong of David Cameron to lecture people in Scotland. He should debate with us instead."

Cameron: We are stronger together in the same UK

In his appeal for Scotland to remain within the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron stressed the importance of the free movement of people and businesses between Scotland and the rest of the UK. He said:

The United Kingdom is an intricate tapestry of relations, millions of relations, woven tight, over more than three centuries. That is why there is no contradiction between being proud of your Scottishness, your Englishness, your Britishness, sometimes all at once.

Some say none of this would change with independence, that these connections will stay as strong as ever, but all of these connections are eased and strengthened by institutional frameworks of the United Kingdom. [...]

.

Our human relationships, our business partnerships are underpinned by being in the same United Kingdom, and that is the number one reason we are stronger together.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports