British PM Urges Scots to Heed Business Warnings over Independence

Article title
British Prime Minister David Cameron will urge Scots to heed warnings from the head of the Bank of England and business leaders over voting to become independent in a referendum in six months' time.

Reuters

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron will urge Scots on Friday to heed warnings from the head of the Bank of England and business leaders over voting to become independent in a referendum in six months' time.

Cameron will tell the Scottish Conservative Party conference in Edinburgh that the Sept. 18 referendum is a major life choice and no decision should be made without being fully aware of the consequences.

Business leaders have raised concerns about Scotland leaving the United Kingdom due to uncertainties over currency, tax, regulatory regimes and European Union membership.

All three main UK political parties have ruled out sharing the pound in a sterling zone, which is the Scottish government's preferred currency option if voters back independence.

Cameron said the warnings were from non-partisan figures, with leaders of companies such as oil giants Shell and BP and financial services heavyweights Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, and Barclays joining the debate in recent weeks.

His intervention comes after an opinion poll found support for independence was at its highest in six months. A Survation poll found 39 percent of Scots planned to vote Yes for independence compared to 48 percent No and 13 percent undecided.

"The idea that these are empty warnings and political scare-mongering is a myth - and we owe it to the people of Scotland to take that myth apart," Cameron will say, according to notes from the speech released in advance.


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