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UK government ministers accused of ‘bullying’ Scotland

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Scotland has accused the British government ministers of “bullying” Edinburgh over a planned independence referendum later this year.

In a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond urged him to distance himself from recent “astonishing” claims reportedly made by a coalition colleague.

This came after a senior coalition source said in Friday’s Herald newspaper that a Yes vote in September’s referendum would not automatically mean Scotland becomes independent.

The First Minister said the comments run counter to the 2012 Edinburgh agreement between the British and Scottish governments, which laid out terms for the referendum on independence.

“I urge you to distance yourself from this position as quickly, and as publicly as possible. Failure to do so will be interpreted, at best, as complicity, and, at worst, endorsement of this deeply anti-democratic position,” Salmond wrote to Cameron.

Addressing business leaders in the Scottish city of Aberdeen on Monday, the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader is also expected to reject British Chancellor George Osborne’s recent “ill- thought-out and misinformed” speech on currency union.

Earlier this week, Osborne ruled out the possibility of a currency union with the rest of the UK if Scots vote for independence in the upcoming referendum.

Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in November last year that Scotland will have its independence day on 24 March, 2016 if Scottish people vote to break away from the UK in a referendum on 18 September, 2014.

The independence referendum could result in Scotland’s break-up from the United Kingdom after more than 300 years of political union.


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