The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, has urged people in other parts of the UK to speak up for the Union. With the referendum on Scottish independence less than a year away, she said that everyone had a stake in the future of Britain, adding that First Minister, Alex Salmond, did not speak for most Scots and claiming that the majority were against independence.
Speaking at the Conservative conference in Manchester, she pointed out that the SNP administration in Edinburgh had made £32bn of uncosted promises, including reversing UK benefit reforms and boosting overseas aid. She drew attention to the opinion polls which consistently showed that the majority of Scots were against independence. Warning against complacency, she stressed that in the months ahead “we have a lot of work to do to hammer home to people just how much Scotland gains from being part of the UK and how much the United Kingdom benefits from Scotland as a member.
“I know that many of you living in other parts of the UK won’t have a vote – but we all have a stake in the result, and we can all play a part in securing our country for the future,” she added
Ms Davidson reminded the conference about what happened in Canada in 1995. There was an independence referendum in Quebec. “The secessionists were ahead until the day itself,” she said. There was just a 1% margin of victory. And the single fact credited with making the difference between staying and going, between uniting the country or dividing the nation – was that the rest of Canada said, ‘we want you to stay’.”
She went of to say that when Alex Salmond took to the airwaves, “saying things designed to get right up your nose, know that he’s doing it on purpose, and that he doesn’t speak for the majority of Scots. Know too, that while this is the most important decision in Scotland’s history – it also affects each and every one you, no matter where you live.”