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British PM: ‘Scotland’s independence will be painful divorce’

British PM: ‘Scotland’s independence will be painful divorce’

Posted September. 17, 2014 05:12,   


"If Scotland denies independence, we will provide extensive autonomy, and share natural resources."

Campaigns by the factions for and against Scotland’s independence were heating up on Tuesday, two days before a public vote to determine its independence from the U.K. British leaders including Prime Minister David Cameroon, Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have issued a joint statement meant to guarantee Scotland’s autonomy and are staging last-minute campaigning to garner votes. According to the BBC, the joint statement, which was drafted by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, includes provisions suggesting that the U.K. will guarantee its Scotland’s autonomy and will fairly share North Sea oil.

Cameroon visited Everdeen, the hub of the Scottish oil industry, on Monday to deliver his final campaign speeches. He said, “Independence will be a painful divorce, not a trial separation. No re-run. There’s no going back from this,” urging voters not to be seduced by a "dream that will go up in smoke." Deputy Finance Minister Danny Alexander warned that the real estate market could be swayed. Zoopla, the realty website, forecast that if Scotland becomes independent, housing price in the region could decline 30,000 pounds (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) on average. This represents impact as powerful as the one that followed the global financial crisis in 2008.

In contrast, Alex Salmond, leader of the separatist Scottish National Party and the first minister of the autonomous Scotland government, said on the day, “The central government’s argument for economic uncertainty is groundless threat,” in urging voters to proactively cast vote for “yes.” He stressed that “If Adam Smith, the economist who hails from Scotland, is still alive, he would have supported independence.” Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said, “Crude oil and natural gas resources still remain in adequate volumes,” as he presented industry data suggesting that discovery of new oil fields in the Shetland Islands in Scotland’s northern shore is possible, reputing the theory of depleting North Sea oil.

Expression‍ of concern by major countries worldwide has also emerged as a new variable at last minutes prior to the vote. White House spokesman Josh Earnest quoted President Barack Obama as saying on Monday, "We obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains strong, robust, united, and an effective partner,” thus officially expressing objection to Scotland’s independence. In an interview with the Financial Times, former U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan also said on the day, “Economic costs that independence will bring about will be alarmingly negative,” in expressing his objection.