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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.

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  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."

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