PM urges No vote on independence
Published 01/01/2014 | 01:17
As the countdown to the independence referendum begins, the Prime Minister has told the people of Scotland "we want you to stay" and "build an even stronger" UK.
The outcome of the vote on September 18 matters to everyone in the UK, David Cameron said in his New Year message.
It is an important date in the history of the United Kingdom, he said, and urged "the nations" to stay together.
"The referendum vote will be the biggest decision Scotland has ever been asked to make. The outcome matters to all of us, wherever we live in the UK," Mr Cameron said.
"This is not a vote for the next few years but a vote that could change our country forever.
"Our family of nations is at its best when we work together with shared interest and common purpose.
"This year let the message go out from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to everyone in Scotland: we want you to stay and together we can build an even stronger United Kingdom for our children and grandchildren."
The UK Government's New Year's resolution is to stick to the long term plan that "is turning the country around", according to Mr Cameron.
The economy is turning a corner, he claimed, with businesses opening up, people getting decent jobs and factories making British goods and selling them to the world.
"That's why this year, 2014, we are not just going to stick to the plan. We are going to redouble our efforts to deliver every part of it, to benefit the whole country and secure a better future for everyone," he said.
"We'll continue with the vital work on the deficit. We've reduced it by a third already and this year we will continue that difficult work to safeguard our economy for the long term, keep mortgage rates low and help families across Britain.
"We're going to keep on doing everything possible to help hard-working people feel financially secure, cutting income taxes and freezing fuel duty.
"We've already capped welfare and cut immigration and, this year, we'll carry on building an economy for people who work hard and play by the rules.
"And last but not least, we're going to keep on delivering the best schools and skills for our children and young people so that when they leave education they have a real chance to get on in life.
"So this is a vital year for our economy."