Bloomberg News

Cameron Wants Vote on Scottish Independence ‘Sooner, not Later’

January 08, 2012

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said that a referendum on Scottish independence should be held “sooner rather than later.”

“It’s unfair on the Scottish people themselves, who don’t really know when this question is going to be asked, what it is going to be,” Cameron told the British Broadcasting Corp.’s “Marr” program today. “We’ll be making clear in the coming days what the legal situation is.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has pledged to hold a referendum on whether the country should become independent in the second half of his five-year term. Salmond’s Scottish National Party, which is seeking to drum up support for independence, won an unprecedented majority in last May’s elections to the devolved parliament in Edinburgh.

Both the coalition’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, as well as the opposition Labour Party, want Scotland to remain part of the U.K.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said that delaying the vote was hurting the Scottish economy.

“I believe very strongly that Scotland is better off, that there are more opportunities for Scottish people within the U.K.,” he told Sky News today. “Scotland cannot afford a long period of dithering and delay from Alex Salmond.”

--Editors: John Deane, Mike Harrison

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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