News story

David Cameron: the importance of Scotland to the UK

The Prime Minister used a speech to call on the rest of the UK to speak out in favour of the Union and against Scottish independence.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Speaking at the Olympic Park in London, the Prime Minister set out a positive vision for the future of the UK and urged people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to use their voice, even if they don’t have a vote.

Read the Prime Minister’s speech on how everyone in the UK can have a voice in the debate.

The Prime Minister said:

This is a decision that is squarely and solely for those in Scotland to make. I passionately believe it is in their interests to stay in the UK. That way Scotland has the space to take decisions, while still having the security that comes with being part of something bigger. From Holyrood they can decide what happens in every hospital, school and police station in Scotland and in the UK, Scotland is part of a major global player.

These are the arguments we will keep on putting till September 18th. It is their choice, their vote. But my argument today is that though only 4 million people can vote in this referendum, all 63 million of us are profoundly affected.

There are 63 million of us who could wake up on September 19th in a different country, with a different future ahead of it. That’s why this speech is addressed not to the people of Scotland, but to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We would be deeply diminished without Scotland. This matters to all our futures. And everyone in the UK can have a voice in this debate.

We come as a brand – a powerful brand. If we lost Scotland, if the UK changed, we would rip the rug from under our own reputation. The plain fact is we matter more in the world together.

With just 7 months to go until the referendum, the Prime Minister told the audience that there can be no complacency over the result of the referendum as the outcome is still up in the air.

Appealing to the rest of the UK, the Prime Minister said:

We must do whatever it takes. You don’t have a vote, but you do have a voice.

Those voting are our friends, neighbours and family. You do have an influence. Let the message ring out from Manchester to Motherwell, from Pembrokeshire to Perth, from Belfast to Bute, from us to the people of Scotland – let the message be this: We want you to stay.

Published 7 February 2014