Scots are becoming more sceptical about the idea of Scotland
becoming independent of the United Kingdom, two polls showed,
delivering a setback to nationalists who want the small
country to call off its 307-year-old union with England.
The polls were published on the eve of the first full cabinet
meeting to be held in Scotland by Prime Minister David
Cameron's government, a move meant to demonstrate his
commitment to keeping the oil-rich nation in the UK.
Scots will decide whether to break from the UK in a
referendum on Sept. 18, with the pro-independence Scottish
National Party (SNP) trying to persuade them they would be
freer and more prosperous on their own, a claim Cameron
An ICM poll for the Scotland on Sunday newspaper showed
support for a "no" vote had risen to 49 percent, up five
percentage points in a month, while support for a "yes" vote
remained static at 37 percent.
A separate poll commissioned by the SNP itself and carried
out by Panelbase put the "no" campaign on 47 percent, up from
43 percent in September, and the "yes" campaign on 37
percent, down from 44 percent in September.
The two polls come after British finance minister George
Osborne ruled out a currency union with an independent
Scotland and Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the
European Commission, said it would be "difficult if not
impossible" for a breakaway Scotland to join the European
Cameron said Britain's unity enabled it to maximise the
benefits of Scotland's North Sea oil and gas.
"I promise we will continue to use the UK's broad shoulders
to invest in this vital industry so we can attract
businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young
people and ensure we can compete in the global race," he said
in a statement.