Independence puts us at risk, say half of Scots

England fans get into their national colours for their match against Italy. Picture: Getty
England fans get into their national colours for their match against Italy. Picture: Getty
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HALF of Scottish voters believe that independence poses a risk to Scotland while one in five think there is a risk if it stays in the UK, a poll has revealed.

The ICM poll for The Scotsman suggests that concerns raised by the Better Together campaign about what might happen to pensions, the currency, defence and other big ticket issues have had an impact on voters as they prepare for the independence referendum on 18 September.

It comes as Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie pledge to provide a guarantee for more powers for the Scottish Parliament after a No vote.

With the poll showing that the No camp leads Yes by eight points (43 per cent to 35 per cent), the much-debated tactics of Better Together, branded “project fear” by its opponents, are again under scrutiny.

The same poll also revealed that support for England in the World Cup has almost halved in Scotland in the last eight years.

Just 38 per cent said they would be supporting England in Brazil 2014 compared to 67 per cent in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The poll suggests that affinity with the rest of the UK is dropping but still revealed that more Scots want England to do well than the 22 per cent who want them to do badly.

But the main findings suggest that uncertainty over the future is proving to be the No camp’s biggest weapon.

The new findings came as Scottish Labour frontbencher, Jackie Baillie, was forced to defend the No camp’s tactics on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show.Ms Baillie said: “I’m not negative at all and neither is the campaign. The campaign has asked questions and I think it is legitimate to ask questions of the people proposing such a fundamental change. People care about the economy, about jobs, about their families.

“What will happen to them should we leave the rest of the United Kingdom? I think it’s legitimate to ask questions. I refuse to be accused of scaremongering simply by asking the questions that people want answers to”

A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: “A Yes vote puts Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

“A No vote threatens more cuts to Scotland’s budget, risks us being pulled out of the European Union against our will, and means another generation of Trident nuclear weapons on the Clyde.”

A Better Together spokesperson added: “It’s clear that in September we don’t have to take a massive leap into the unknown and risk our mortgages and ­pensions.”

Get the latest referendum news, opinion and analysis from across Scotland and beyond on our new Scottish Independence website