Salmond, Cameron meet in Edinburgh

Feb. 17, 2012 at 1:56 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond appeared frustrated by a meeting Thursday in Edinburgh to discuss independence.

Salmond said after the meeting he wants to "see the beef" of specific proposals on additional powers the Scottish government might be given within the United Kingdom, The Scotsman said. Cameron pushed for a quick vote on independence, which Salmond's Scottish National Party wants to delay until 2014.

The trip to Edinburgh was Cameron's first venture north of the border since the SNP put forward its plan for a referendum. In a speech in the Scottish capital, Cameron promised greater devolution if voters reject independence.

Under the current system, adopted in the 1990s, the elected Scottish government is responsible for most internal affairs. The British government is in charge of defense, foreign affairs and taxation, with Scotland given a set amount of money.

Cameron said he supports devolution but he believes Scotland should hold an up-and-down vote on independence.

"That doesn't have to be the end of the road. When the referendum on independence is over, I am open to looking at how the devolved settlement can be improved further," he said. "And, yes, that means considering what further powers could be devolved."

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