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U.K. stronger united, Cameron says

Feb. 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM

LONDON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The United Kingdom will have more military and diplomatic sway on the international stage with Scotland as a partner, the British prime minister said Friday.

Scotland has scheduled a Sept. 18 one-question referendum for independence from the United Kingdom.

British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out against the referendum last year and now says the country will be stronger with Scotland at its side.

"Together, we get a seat at the U.N. Security Council, real clout in NATO and Europe, the prestige to host events like the Group of Eight," he said. "Together we've got the finest armed forces on the planet."

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would save more than $800 million on defense spending because it would no longer have to contribute to British security efforts. The British government countered that an independent Scotland would be faced with national security issues because it would have to build its armed forces from scratch.

The referendum asks if Scotland should be independent from Britain. If the answer is yes, Salmond said Scotland would celebrate its first Independence Day March 24, 2016.

"We want you to stay," Cameron said.

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