The REAL Threat to the Union; CAMERON BLASTS HIS OWN PARTY

The Mirror (London, England), December 11, 2007 | Go to article overview

The REAL Threat to the Union; CAMERON BLASTS HIS OWN PARTY


Byline: By MARK SMITH

WHAT is the biggest threat to the union between Scotland and England?

You might have thought it was Alex Salmond and the SNP after they swept to power. But you'd be wrong.

The biggest threat comes from the Conservative and Unionist Party - at least according to its own leader.

On a visit to Holyrood yesterday, David Cameron attacked the band of "narrow English nationalists" in his party who stir up anti-Scottish feeling to win votes down south.

He also claimed he would always be a passionate defender of the Union.

But less than an hour later, Mr Cameron's proud boasts were blown out of the water by Shadow Scotland Secretary David Mundell.

In a radio interview, the MP said his party was still determined to bar Scots MPs from voting on Englishonly matters at Westminster.

He said: "We are not moving away from that policy. We've had the devolved settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the unfinished business of devolution is what to do about England.

"What we want to achieve is that English MPs have the final say on matters which are purely English."

Mr Cameron also defended the controversial policy, which critics claim would tear apart the UK.

He said: "It is essential that we seek answers to any unfairness in the Union and to questions of accountability or justice or democracy."

MANY of his own MPs have been nursing a strong sense of grievance over the dominance of Scottish MPs in Gordon Brown's Westminster cabinet.

They have also been complaining about Scots getting too much cash from the UK Treasury, branding us "subsidy junkies" and freeloaders.

But Mr Cameron attempted to slap down these "little Englanders" yesterday - and he warned they risked ending the 300-year-old marriage between Scotland and England.

He said: "The SNP now promise to deliver independence in 10 years.

"At the same time there are those in England who want the SNP to succeed, who would like to see the Union fail.

"They seek to use grievances to foster a narrow English nationalism. I have a message for them: 'I will never let you succeed'."

He added: "The Union is under threat from ugly stain of separatism that is seeping through the Union flag. Our Union is looking more fragile, more threatened than at any time in recent history. …

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