United Kingdom opposition leader states commitment to keeping Scotland part of the Union

Friday, May 23, 2008

David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party and UK leader of the opposition today made a speech to the conference of the Scottish Conservative Party. In the speech he addressed the issue of Scottish independence. "I want to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom - all of it, including Scotland. I absolutely believe we are stronger together, and weaker apart, and I will do anything and everything to keep our two countries as one," he said.

"Whether we like it or not, the ugly stain of separatism is seeping through the Union flag," said Cameron, stating his opinion on the movements for Scottish independence. "The simple truth is that the Union between England and Scotland is under attack as never before."

Mr. Cameron also criticised Labour in the speech. "To play games by calling for a referendum right at the moment when people would take any opportunity to give the most unpopular Government in living memory a good kicking, isn’t clever... isn’t good politics …isn’t defending the Union."

He also commented on Britishness is the speech. "The Union is in danger for other reasons too," he claimed. "There is, of course, the question of identity. The number of people who think themselves British – ahead of Scottish or English - is in decline."

"Britishness is a matter of instinct, not calculation, and the sooner we have a Government that is willing to stand up for, and take pride in, that instinct then the sooner we can fight the forces of separation," continued Cameron, speaking to his supporters.

Cameron also addressed Scottish First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party:

So, to Alex Salmond, I say this.

I know you’ve got a plan. I know you think a Conservative government at Westminster will ignore what Scotland wants and needs, and that you will use such claims to promote your separatist agenda. Well, think again.

We’ve got the vision. We’ve got the ideas. And we’ve got the ambition.

And to the people of Scotland, I make this guarantee. Whatever the outcome in Scotland of the next General Election, a Conservative Government will govern the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland, with respect.


This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2008-05-23 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)