Leaders’ panic dash to urge Scots to vote ‘No’

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‘David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg will today make an emergency dash to Scotland in a desperate attempt to revive the faltering No vote in the campaign against independence.

The three main party leaders ripped up their schedules as panic over the outcome of next week’s referendum engulfed Westminster.

They will plead with Scots to decide against leaving the UK as shock polls suggest the result of the referendum is in the balance following a surge in support for a Yes vote.

In a gesture intended to signal commitment to the union, the Prime Minister ordered Scotland’s blue-andwhite Saltire flag to be hoisted over Downing Street yesterday.

But the stunt backfired when the flag fell off the flagpole on live TV.

SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond claimed the Better Together campaign against independence was in “total disintegration.”

Mr Cameron, Labour leader Mr Miliband and Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg agreed to cancel today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Instead they will attend separate events in Scotland to make the case against a break-up of the UK.

In a joint statement, the party leaders said: “There is a lot that divides us. But there’s one thing on which we agree passionately – the United Kingdom is better together. We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choice they face.

“Our message to the Scottish people is simple, ‘We want you to stay’.”

Asked if the rush north was a sign of panic, the Prime Minister said: “I want to do everything I can to put the arguments in front of the people.”

He said Scots needed to “know they can have the best of both worlds – more powers to govern themselves but also inside the United Kingdom”.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that the Saltire would fly in Downing Street alongside the Union flag until the referendum on September 18.

‘Mr Miliband urged people to raise the Saltire over buildings across the UK

Earlier, Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in Scotland united around plans to effectively deliver “Home Rule”, transferring a swathe of powers from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament

They backed a timetable for more devolution announced by this week by former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, who was arguing the Better Together case in Glasgow yesterday.

Buckingham Palace officials last night rejected calls for the Queen to intervene in the debate in a bid to save the union. They insisted it was vital she be allowed to remain above politics.

A spokesman said: “The sovereign’s constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy. As such, the monarch is above politics, and those in political office have a duty to ensure this remains the case.”

Royal sources admit privately that the Queen is concerned about the potential impact of independence.

Yesterday Mr Salmond insisted the Queen would be proud to be monarch of an independent Scotland. He said: “I want the Queen as head of state, as Queen of Scots of an independent Scotland as her ancestors were.” ‘

Report Source :The Express

Niamh Harris
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