The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore and the Prime Minister David Cameron have signed an agreement with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond which will give the Scottish Parliament the power to hold a referendum on independence.
Michael Moore said:
“The next two years provide us with a unique opportunity to highlight the benefits of the UK and to seek the positive endorsement of people in Scotland.
“I want the next two years to be about more than fending off the threat of independence. I want an informed national debate in which the full and positive case for Scotland staying within the UK family is made, heard and won. The onus is on us to provide the strong and positive case for the United Kingdom. We will do that. The ultimate responsibility will then rest with the people of Scotland.
“The advantages of being part of the UK are quietly accepted by most Scots. Often those advantages are left unearthed or go unreported just because they are the status quo. This campaign will be an opportunity to change that. We can put up in lights the benefits to Scotland of being part of our United Kingdom.
“The issues at the heart of this debate include the scale of our economy, the strength of our defence, and our strong voice in the world, speaking out for Scottish interests. As we move forwards, producing evidence and making the case, I am confident that people across Scotland will stand up in support of the UK over these things too.”
The Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“This marks the beginning of an important chapter in Scotland’s story and allows the real debate to begin.
“It paves the way so that the biggest question of all can be settled: a separate Scotland or a United Kingdom? I will be making a very positive argument for our United Kingdom.
“It is now up to the people of Scotland to make that historic decision. The very future of Scotland depends on their verdict. It is that important. This agreement delivers the people’s referendum.”