Scottish independence: Nationalists losing - PM

David Cameron: 'Bring on the referendum'. Picture: PA
David Cameron: 'Bring on the referendum'. Picture: PA
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PRIME Minister David Cameron gave his most confident assessment yet of the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, when he boasted that the Nationalists are “losing the battle” and said “bring on the referendum.”

• Nationalists are ‘losing the battle’ to win argument for independence, David Cameron claims

• Prime Minister resopnded to SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson’s call for Better Together campaign to drop “puerile tripe” on roaming and haulage charges

The claim came inc exchanges during Prime Minister’s questions after SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson called on him to drop the “puerile tripe” at the heart of the Better Together campaign.

Mr Robertson quoted criticisms of the government’s latest analysis produced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which included controversial claims about roaming charges for mobile phones and £1,000 fees for Scottish hauliers to use the road network in the rest of the UK should Scotland become independent.

Mr Robertson said: “The Prime Minister’s deputy party leader in Scotland [Jackson Carlaw] describes the UK Government’s scaremongering about independence as ‘silly’; one of his key donors in Scotland describes it as ‘puerile’; and the country’s leading Conservative commentator says that it is ‘tripe’.

“Given that the Prime Minister is in charge of Project Fear for the UK Government, will he ditch this silly, puerile tripe?”

But a confident Mr Cameron defended the government analysis papers and said the criticism was being made because the SNP is losing the battle of facts.

He said: “The information that has been produced by the Government on what would happen under Scottish independence is impartial, extremely powerful and very sensible.

“The fact is that the Scottish nationalists are losing the arguments on jobs, the economy and the influence that Scotland would have in the world. I say bring on the referendum, because they are losing the battle.”

Mr Cameron was also forced to defend his Chancellor George Osborne after Labour’s former Treasury minister Geoffrey Robinson said that his interventions were costing the taxpayer billions.

Mr Robison asked: “Is the Prime Minister aware of the rather disturbing commitment given yesterday by his Chancellor to continue to interfere and intervene in the affairs of the Royal Bank of Scotland on behalf of the taxpayer?

“Is he also aware that the Chancellor’s last intervention—the completely irresponsible ousting of Stephen Hester—has cost the British taxpayer £4.5 billion so far as a result of the loss in value of their shareholding? Will the Prime Minister, as First Lord of the Treasury, instruct his Chancellor to desist from any such interventions in the future?”

The Prime Minister hit back referrig to a scandal involving Mr Robinson lending money to former Labour business secretary Lord Mandelson.

He said: “What I would say to the honourable gentleman, who I know has great experience of lending money, is that it is important that the Government stand up for the taxpayer and ensure that Royal Bank of Scotland has the right strategy and the right leadership so that we get back the money that was put into the banks by the last Government.”


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