PM vows fight against Scottish vote

David Cameron urged Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to 'stop dithering' over the referendum

David Cameron said the Conservatives will 'fight with everything we've got' to keep the UK together

First published in National News © by

David Cameron has pledged the Conservatives will "fight with everything we've got" to keep the United Kingdom together as he told Scotland's First Minister to "stop dithering and start delivering" on the independence referendum.

The Prime Minister claimed the union between the countries had made Britain "one of the world's greatest economic and political success stories".

He claimed it was Alex Salmond - who wants to hold the independence referendum in autumn 2014 - who was a "big road block" to a vote on the country's constitutional future.

The Prime Minister used his speech to the Scottish Conservative conference in Troon, Ayrshire, to launch a passionate defence of the Union.

But he also used his speech to tell his party that as well as needing to fight for the future of the country, it must also fight to reconnect with Scottish voters.

On the subject of the referendum, he was clear that Scots should get a "clear choice" in the ballot: "Yes or No, in or out of the United Kingdom."

The Prime Minister said: "Delay creates uncertainty for businesses, investors, families. People need to know one way or the other. So, my message to the First Minister is this: stop dithering and start delivering. Let's give the Scottish people the chance to make a clear choice about their future."

Mr Cameron insisted he was eager for the country to "hold the debate, put the question, make the decision". He conceded the Tories - who have just one MP in Scotland - were "nowhere near" where they should be north of the border. But he insisted this was not a "fact of life", as he urged party members to "reach out and send out a rallying cry across Scotland".

With the debate over Scotland's future taking centre stage, Mr Cameron used much of his speech to defend the Union, which he said was a "partnership for liberty, security, prosperity". Mr Cameron said: "Scotland is better off in Britain."

SNP MSP Chic Brodie hit back at the Prime Minister, saying all he had to offer Scots was a "vague promise of 'something else' if people vote 'No' to independence". He insisted: "Scotland is firmly on the road to independence. And if this is the best that the Prime Minister has to offer in his fight to save the Union, it begs the question - with friends like these, who needs enemies?"

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