Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond attacks 'Team Westminster'

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Media captionAlex Salmond: 'Team Scotland against team Westminster'

The Scottish first minister has dismissed the efforts of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to keep Scotland in the UK.

Speaking at a pro-independence event in Edinburgh, Alex Salmond described the three politicians as "Team Westminster".

And he suggested their primary concern was keeping their own jobs.

It came as Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg travelled to Scotland ahead of next week's independence referendum,

Recent opinion polls have suggested the referendum race is now neck and neck.


Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

  • Leading oil economist Prof Alex Kemp predicted almost 100 new discoveries in the North Sea over the next 30 years - as major industry figure Sir Ian Wood warned against basing an independent Scotland's economic future on "exaggerated" claims. Sir Ian's assessment was backed by BP chief executive Bob Dudley.
  • Financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown advised savers and long-term investors concerned about the referendum to "ignore the noise" and "stick with your plan". Their advice to Scottish investors and savers was that a "Yes" vote would add costs, but change would take months or years to become clear.
  • On the referendum, the President Elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, told the BBC he was "convinced" the people of Scotland "do not want" him to comment on "this particularly Scottish and British issue". He said "every country wanting to be a member of the EU has to apply for membership" and the final say would be one of "unanimity, as all the accession decisions are", but added: "Don't try to put a question to me because I won't answer it".
  • Bank of England governor Mark Carney told a committee of MPs that a new central bank in an independent Scotland would need big stockpiles of sterling if the country opted to adopt the pound without an agreement with the rest of the United Kingdom. Mr Carney also said it was likely that economic borders would build up between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Mr Salmond said: "Today what we have got is an example of Team Scotland against Team Westminster.

"The breadth and reach of the 'Yes' campaign is there for all to see - it is not about the Scottish National Party, the Green Party or political parties. It goes right through the whole sector of Scottish society

"What we are seeing today on the other side is Team Westminster jetting up to Scotland for the day because they are panicking in the campaign.

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Image caption David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband say they agree "passionately" that the UK was "better together"

"Our campaign for example has the key test on jobs. What we are interested in is having a powerhouse parliament that can create jobs for Scotland. What Team Westminster seem to be concerned about is their own jobs."

But Mr Salmond again stressed that the "Yes" campaign was not taking anything for granted with just over a week to go until the referendum on 18 September.

The first minister said: "For the last months, and certainly for the last weeks of the campaign proper, we are engaged in a conversation with our fellow citizens.

"We don't make any assumptions about the poll next week, but nonetheless I think the evidence would indicate that more and more of our fellow citizens are becoming convinced by the arguments being put forward by their fellow citizens in the 'Yes' campaign. The movement to Scotland is decisively towards 'Yes'".

Better Together head Alistair Darling said the nationalists were being "offensive" and "divisive" by labelling themselves as "Team Scotland" and their opponents as "Team Westminster."

He added: "There are many of us in Scotland who are deeply patriotic, but actually take a different view from him, and believe we are better and stronger together as part of the United Kingdom.

"We know what he's hinting at here - that somehow people who are not on his side don't deserve to be heard, they're not truly patriotic, truly Scottish.

"It's deeply offensive to a number of people in Scotland, it's deeply divisive and it's wholly unnecessary."

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