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Cameron bound for Scotland to boost 'no' vote support

Updated: 2014-09-16 07:05
By Agencies in London and Brussels (China Daily)

British Prime Minister David Cameron was to plead with Scots on Monday to vote against independence as Scotland enters the most decisive week in its modern history.

Cameron was due in Aberdeen, the hub of Britain's North Sea offshore oil and gas industry - almost all of which would come under Scottish control in the event of a "yes" vote.

With polls showing an extremely tight vote on Thursday, English soccer icon David Beckham lent his support to the "Better Together" camp, and pro-unity campaigners were planning a rally in Trafalgar Square in London later on Monday.

"My sincere hope is that you will vote to renew our historic bond, which has been such a success over the centuries," Beckham said in a statement.

Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, a center-right weekly news magazine, urged readers to attend the rally, saying: "It's for those who love Britain and don't want to see it snapped in two."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond also hit the campaign trail, meeting with business leaders who have argued that leaving the United Kingdom makes economic sense.

Support for a "yes" vote has grown in recent weeks, and the campaign received a further boost on Sunday with top Scottish bands Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai playing a gig in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, urging Scots to cast ballots against the union.

"People are excited. The 'yes' camp, I feel, are more invigorated," Calum Forbes, a 22-year-old recent graduate and "yes" supporter, said at the concert.

Queen Elizabeth II also reportedly made her first comment on the vote, which was interpreted by "no" campaigners as lending support to their argument about the risks of voting "yes".

British media said the 88-year-old monarch told an onlooker after attending church near her Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands on Sunday: "Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future."

Exit from EU, NATO

If Scottish voters this week say "yes" to independence, they'll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe's postwar prosperity and security - the European Union and the US-led NATO defense alliance.

In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from both Brussels-based organizations have stressed.

The loss of Scotland would also weaken the influence of Britain inside the 28-nation EU. For the moment, the British, along with the Germans and French, constitute the trade bloc's Big Three. Without Scotland's population, Britain would drop to No 4, behind Italy.



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