British Prime Minister David Cameron has pleaded with Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom, saying he would be “heartbroken” if the union was torn apart.
During a visit to a Scottish Widows offices in Edinburgh, Mr Cameron said he cared “far more about his country than his party”.
Mr Cameron was joined by his deputy Nick Clegg and Labour Opposition leader Ed Miliband on a mission to Scotland on separate visits in a bid to persuade Scots to vote ‘No’ to independence on September 18.
In a shock move, the three cancelled parliamentary Question Time to make the mercy mission north.
Mr Cameron said the evidence to suggest staying in the union was strong, but he appealed for voters to also go to the polls with their heart.
“I care far more about my country than I do about my party,” he said.
“I care hugely about this extraordinary country, this United Kingdom that we’ve built together. I would be heartbroken if this family of nations that we’ve put together was torn apart.”
Much of the debate about independence has been painted like sporting rivalry Scotland versus England. But Mr Cameron said the decision made next week was not for five years or 10 but the next century.
“This vote is not about whether Scotland is a nation or not, Scotland is a nation, it’s a strong, proud nation with an extraordinary history and incredibly talented people,” he said.
“But it is a nation that has chosen over the last 300 years to be part of a family of nations, a family of nations that enables this great country to punch way above its weight in the world.
“This vote is not about Scotland versus Britain it’s about two competing visions for Scotland.”
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would survive economically on oil reserves from the North Sea.
However, the boss of oil giant BP scotched that last night insisting that the local oil industry is “best served” by Scotland remaining part of the UK.
Bob Dudley warned that future long-term investments aimed at extending the life of existing assets in the North Sea and managing the future costs of decommissioning required “fiscal stability and certainty”.
He backed earlier comments from oil industry veteran Sir Ian Wood who said that Scottish people were being misled by forecasts of a new oil boom.
“BP has been in the UK North Sea for 50 years and we hope to operate here for many years to come,” he said.
“However, the province is now mature … the opportunities today are smaller and more challenging to develop than in the past. We also face the challenges of extending the productive life of existing assets and managing the future costs of decommissioning.”