SIR Paul McCartney yesterday urged Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom.
The former Beatle, responsible for some of pop music’s most enduring songs, made the declaration as the Let’s Stay Together campaign sought support on the streets of his home town of Liverpool.
McCartney, who for many years kept a home on the Mull of Kintyre, is the latest famous artist from south of the Border to sign an open letter to voters which says: “The decision on whether to leave our shared country is, of course, absolutely yours alone. Nevertheless, that decision will have a huge effect on all of us in the rest of the United Kingdom. We want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope that you will vote to renew them.
“What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let’s stay together.”
Let’s Stay Together says more than 50,000 people have put their names to the letter ahead of next month’s referendum, with several hundred celebrities and public figures giving their public support. Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Dame Judi Dench, Simon Cowell, Sir Bobby Charlton and Professor Stephen Hawking are also among the signatories.
TV historian Dan Snow, one of the campaign co-ordinators for Let’s Stay Together, said: “Sir Paul is one of Britain and the world’s most respected musicians. We are humbled that he has signed the letter.
“Sir Paul’s signature, alongside Sir Mick Jagger’s and those of tens of thousands of people from all over the country, shows that English, Welsh and Northern Irish people hope passionately that the Scottish vote to renew their bonds of citizenship with us.
“The decision is for the Scottish voters alone. Let’s Stay Together simply want them to know that we hope that they will stay part of our shared country.”
McCartney’s declaration was met with an outbreak of punning from both Yes and No campaigns.
The Scottish Labour MP Anne McGuire said: “We are glad to have the Help! of Sir Paul McCartney. It is hardly surprising that Sir Paul wants us to Come Together. Maybe rather than trying to take us all on a Magical Mystery Tour Alex Salmond should just Let It Be.”
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: “It’s fantastic that Sir Paul loves Scotland, and we’re sure he will continue to do so after Scots say ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’… Yes is definitely the best Ticket To Ride.”
Meanwhile musicians on the other side of the constitutional divide are tuning up for a pre-referendum concert in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on the Sunday before the big vote.
The line-up for the gig, organised by comedy promoter Tommy Sheppard for 14 September, includes Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Frightened Rabbit, McIntoshRoss (Deacon Blue singers Lorraine McIntosh and Ricky Ross), the folk-singer Eddi Reader and the actress Elaine C Smith.
In another development, the Del Amitri front man Justin Currie revealed that he has decided to vote Yes despite previously indicating that he favoured voting No.
Currie had once indicated he was against dividing up into “smaller tribal territories”, but has changed his mind. Yesterday he tweeted: “It’s not about ‘freedom’. It’s about self-determination. And that’s about freedom.”