THE referendum on independence is a “major life decision”, David Cameron was set to tell the Scottish Tory conference in Edinburgh this afternoon.
In his keynote address to the party faithful, the Prime Minister was due to emphasise just how high he believes the stakes are when Scots go to the polls on September 18.
And he was set to claim warnings about the potential dangers of independence could not be dismissed as scaremongering.
Speaking at the opening rally of the three-day event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Mr Cameron was expected to say: “This referendum is a major life decision – and you don’t make one of those without getting all the information you can.
“You wouldn’t buy a house without getting a survey done. You wouldn’t choose a car without an MOT.
“And you shouldn’t make a decision about changing your nation – forever – without knowing in full what the consequences may be.
“And look at who’s laying out those consequences – the governor of the Bank of England, the president of the European Commission, business chiefs from companies like BP and Shell, Alliance Trust and RBS, Lloyds, Barclays – the list goes on.”
Mr Cameron was due to argue such figures were not “political puppets”, but serious, non-partisan figures.
“So, the idea that these are empty warnings and political scaremongering is a myth – and we owe it to the people of Scotland to take that myth apart.”
Mr Cameron was also set to cite the Commonwealth Games as an example of the benefits of “being part of a bigger team, a family of nations”. The comment could risk accusations that he is politicising a key sporting event – something the SNP have been repeatedly warned they must not do.
Mr Cameron was expected to say: “You want to know something wonderful? When the call went out for volunteers at Glasgow 2014, more than a quarter of those who responded were from elsewhere in the UK.
“People who were happy to travel hundreds of miles, to give their time for free and be part of it – because it’s not ‘over the border’, it’s not a foreign country, this is our home, and when any corner of these islands needs back-up or support, the rest is there.”
The conference comes at a crucial time in the referendum campaign, with just six months now to go until voting day.
A poll yesterday showed support for independence at its highest level this year, with 39 per cent planning to vote Yes and 48 per cent No. Once undecideds were excluded, the balance would be 55 per cent No, 45 per cent Yes.
The survey found a majority of men in favour of independence – by 46 to 44 per cent – while women were opposed by 51 to 33 per cent. Almost a quarter of people who voted Labour in 2011 also said they would vote Yes.