A few weeks ago David Cameron attempted to seize the initiative over the question of Scottish independence by suggesting that the SNP should hold a referendum on this question sooner rather than later. Several reasons have been offered for Cameron’s actions, including the argument that the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Scotland’s place in the Union is bad for business and foreign investment. Perhaps the most intriguing rumour doing the rounds at Westminster, however, is that several senior Tories, including George Osborne, favour an early referendum because they believe it offers the Conservatives a ‘win-win’ situation.
Behind this argument lies a belief that an early referendum is likely to favour the unionists. Polls suggest that support for independence in Scotland is currently low. A referendum held in the near future would therefore probably result in a ‘no’ to Scottish independence. Read more ›