Bill Clinton urges Scotland not to leave the United Kingdom

"With so much turmoil and division across the globe, I hope the Scots will inspire the world with a high turnout and a powerful message of both identity and inclusion," urged the former president.
By Matt Bradwell  |  Sept. 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Former United States President Bill Clinton has publicly come out in favor of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom, calling on Scots to set an example for global unity, which Clinton describes as "the greatest challenge of our time."

"Because the independence vote is a decision for the Scots alone to make, and because Scots are already legendary for their independence of mind, I have been reluctant to express my views on the matter," Clinton said in a noticeably cautious statement released by the pro-unity Better Together campaign.

"With so much turmoil and division across the globe, I hope the Scots will inspire the world with a high turnout and a powerful message of both identity and inclusion. I understand and sympathise with those who want independence. Scotland is blessed with impressive human and natural resources and a strong desire for more widely shared prosperity and social solidarity."

Clinton went on to itemize why he feels a unified United Kingdom is better for both Scotland and the world.

"However, I hope the Scots people will vote to remain in the UK for several reasons:

"1. The proposal to keep the pound as its currency without the support that UK membership provides carries substantial risks, as we saw in the EU after the financial crisis.

"2. Separation will require a long complex negotiating process with considerable uncertainty and potential to weaken the Scottish economy.

"3. The increased autonomy promised Scotland by the UK provides most of the benefits of independence and avoids the downside risks.

"4. Unity with maximum self-determination sends a powerful message to a world torn by identity conflicts that it is possible to respect our differences while living and working together. This is the great challenge of our time. The Scots can show us how to meet it."

Clinton's final point echoes the crux of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's impassioned plea for his home country to remain part of the Untied Kingdom.

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