British PM to Holds Talks On Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted February 16th, 2012 at 2:20 am (UTC-5)
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British Prime Minister David Cameron is heading to Scotland Thursday for talks on a planned independence referendum he has vowed to fight.

Mr. Cameron says he will tell the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, Thursday, he will fight to keep Scotland a part of the United Kingdom.

The prime minister's first meeting will be with Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, who is pushing for a referendum in September of 2014, ahead of the country's parliament election in 2016.

On Wednesday, Salmond said, after 300 years of English authority, Scotland's full independence could bring the country more prosperity through renewable energy, such as harnessing the power of wind.

Prime Minister Cameron says Scotland would be richer and safer staying a part of the United Kingdom, which includes Wales,England and Northern Ireland.

Mr. Cameron is expected to tell Scottish lawmakers Thursday that the country's independence could jeopardize the U.K.s permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and lessen its global influence.

In released excerpts from his planned speech, the prime minister says the issue of separation involves “head, heart and soul”.

Opinion polls show about a third of Scottish people support independence.

Scotland gain partially autonomy from England in 1999, forming its own parliament.