You can’t quit UK without my approval, David Cameron warns Scots as First Minister Alex Salmond pushes for a referendum – by Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday Political Editor – Last updated at 1:48 AM on 8th January 2012

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

David Cameron has warned Scotland’s First Minister about a referendum

David Cameron is heading for a showdown with Alex Salmond over the plan for Scotland to quit the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister will confront Scotland’s First Minister after receiving new legal advice said to confirm Downing Street’s claim that Mr Salmond cannot hold a referendum without permission from Westminster.

Mr Cameron accepts that he cannot stand in the way of a referendum. But he intends to use the advice to wreck Mr Salmond’s plan to stage it in 2014 – the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland’s most famous military victory against England.

The row was taking shape yesterday as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg branded Scottish Nationalist leader Mr Salmond an ‘extremist’ for trying to ‘yank Scotland out of the UK’ against the wishes of most Scots.

PRIME MINISTER MAKES WAY FOR A FAIRER BRITAIN (There is no such thing as Britain if you want to be fair . . .)

The prime minister has said he will make reforms in 2012 so that hard-working people will feel their work is being rewarded.

He said he would use the coming year to convince people that if you do the right thing and work hard you will reap the benefits.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Telegraph he said his agenda would cover the City, Europe, personal taxation and concerns over human rights as well as an intervention against any moves to a Scottish independence.

He said there would be no abolition of the 50p income tax rate for people earning more than £150,000 and stressed there would be no ‘mansion tax’ in the upcoming budget, despite opposition from the Lib Dems.

Mr Cameron also made a promise to stand up to the European human rights judges who made rulings that British people did not agree with.

He also pledged to reform executive pay and said that shareholders would have to approve pay and bonuses instead of the current advisory votes.

Mr Cameron also said he had sympathy for Ed Miliband because he had a difficult job but expressed he was not fond of the constant heckling from shadow chancellor Ed Balls, because it was ‘like having someone with Tourette’s sitting opposite you’.

The Prime Minister is ready to use Westminster laws to force Mr Salmond to bring forward the referendum in the belief that it would stop him achieving an independent Scotland on the back of a tidal wave of Scottish patriotism.

The stand-off was compared last night by a senior Whitehall official to a ‘giant game of constitutional poker’ between the two men. It comes as the House of Lords is poised to debate new laws setting out the rules for a Scottish referendum.

The move, promoted by all party backbench peers opposed to a breakaway Scotland, is designed to stop Mr Salmond from dictating the timing of the vote – and the question on the ballot paper.

Well-placed Tory sources say Mr Cameron is ready to back the new laws in an attempt to persuade Mr Salmond to discuss how and when the referendum should be held.

One option is to include a so-called ‘sunset clause’ in the legislation that would set a deadline of 2013 for the referendum.

‘We have always said that only Westminster can decide on referendums,’ said a Coalition insider. ‘The legal advice merely confirms that we were right to hold that belief.’

Downing Street maintains that Westminster’s power over referendums was established in the Scotland Act of 1998. The Prime Minister wants the referendum to be run by the Electoral Commission to ensure it is fair. Mr Salmond wants to offer two choices in it: an independent Scotland, or a slightly watered-down version.

Mr Cameron favours a single, straightforward ‘In or Out of the UK’ question.
Alex Salmond wants a referendum in 2014 so people can decide if Scotland should become an independent country

Alex Salmond wants a referendum in 2014 so people can decide if Scotland should become an independent country

Scots Tory peer Lord Forsyth, who is leading the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, said last night: ‘The idea that we should decide the fate of the UK on the basis of the date of a medieval battle when we are in the middle of a financial crisis and youth unemployment of one in four would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.’

Mr Clegg said Scots wanted more home rule, but did not want to leave the UK. ‘That is the mainstream of opinion. It is the extremists who want to yank Scotland out of the UK tomorrow, or say there should be no further change at all.’

Meanwhile Mr Cameron has said he wants MPs to be more careful when making laws and to avoid U-turns on major decisions.

According to the Sunday Times Sir George Young, the Leader of the Commons, has told colleagues that there must be fewer and better drafted laws this coming year.

‘There is the danger that the public thinks we don’t really know what we are doing,’ said one Tory minister.

Commentaries :
Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Let them go and ensure they pay back the billions they owe the English taxpayer as a result of the RBS bailout etc. They must also agree to take on there share of the deficit! It would save us a fortune if we didn’t have to fund them allowing our taxes to be reduced! This would be a win a win in my opinion!

– SD, Peterborough, 08/1/2012 08:44
Rating 798

Salmond only wants one question on the referendum.Should Scotland be independent? He is prepared to allow the unionists to ask about devo max if they can decide /define what it is.So far they are at sixes and sevens.

– zorbathejock, cyprus, 08/1/2012 08:42
Rating 480

The Union is finished, but I’m sure you’ll survive, somehow, without Scotland’s wealth. It’s over., it really is….

– Brian Ritchie, Wick Scotland, 08/1/2012 08:42
Rating 708

Scotland could not raise enough in taxation to support its population and the level of services it now enjoys. Independence from England would mean total surrendering of that independence to the whims of the EU. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

– Nigel, UK, 08/1/2012 08:41
Rating 1031

What a gift for the SNP, if this report is to be relied upon. First Minister Salmond will not be able to believe his luck. – Frankly, Paris, France, 07/1/2012 23:40 Totally agree.Every time Cameron opens his mouth on Scottish Issues the SNP see an increase in both support and membership. As for “The Prime Minister wants the referendum to be run by the Electoral Commission to ensure it is fair” – does he really think we are some 3rd world country that cannot organise a vote!!. This man and has government have no respect for Scotland and no legitimacy in Scotland.

– NC, Alba, 08/1/2012 08:39
Rating 303

If the scottish people want a referendum then let them have one, and at the same time hold a referendum in the UK about the EU

– Cuckoo, Merseyside, 08/1/2012 08:38
Rating 1854

“There is the danger that the public thinks we don’t really know what we are doing,” One unnamed minister telling the truth at last! It is no longer a danger, we are pretty sure they don’t know what they are doing. Most of the time Dave and friends walk around with question marks in their eyes.

– Silverthread , Rugeley UK, 08/1/2012 08:37
Rating 525

An English Tory leader tries to usurp the will of the Scottish people. Nothing to see here folks, move along. DC won’t take Salmond on, he would be destroyed, Cameron is a political nonentity in comparison. We will have our referendum, when we decide, the question, or questions, will be what we decide, and we, the Scottish people will abide by the result, no other country will consulted on any of this. You really need to start accepting this and get on with solving your own problems.

– BigScottie, Glasgow, 08/1/2012 08:34
Rating 388

The usual hateful comments, I see. I prefer the status quo but it should be up to the British people if the Union is to be broken up. As for economics, there are different studies which show that Scotland contributes more to the British economy than the amount she receives back. The money which governments spend is tax revenue. It is our money, not the government’s. As a British citizen I expect the government to spend our money wisely on British citizens to increase their life chances. That is why we vote. If the British government isn’t spending our money wisely, it’s hardly the fault of the Scottish government. There is also a paradox here. If the Tories backed Salmond’s independence policy then England would almost certainly have a Tory government in perpetuity. The Scottish Labour MP’s ensure Britain has Labour governments. Yet, Conservatives still want the Union despite this. How strange. I suppose history has a large part to play in this pro-Union attitude. Great Britain.

– DANNY, KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND., 08/1/2012 08:22
Rating 632

Rest assured, if the Scots (me included) had a referendum to vote on full independence, it would be a massive vote of 95 percent against it. That idiot Salmond and his numpty cronies only got voted in because there wasn’t any other decent party to vote for.

– Deckard B26354, London, UK, 08/1/2012 08:20

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

A *UN* or *NAM* or *BRICS (represents near 30% of world’s land mass)* based plebiscite fully signed by all aware of what Anglo hegemony means and led by Alex Salmond says otherwise to refute Cameron’s words. If reparations are sought for violent occupation by the Angles a few hundred years past, the case could very arguably be a valid reason for independence, Cameron has no right to refuse anything when even Sudan has grown matured enough to separate where differences are too great to reconcile. A history of occupation is irreconciliable and Alex Salmond’s independence drive is justifiable.

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