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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006, 14:47 GMT
Voters 'back Scots independence'
Saltire and St George's Flag
The poll suggested voters favour a split
A majority of voters in both England and Scotland back the break-up of the United Kingdom, a poll has suggested.

Support for Scottish independence has reached 52% among Scots and 59% south of the border, the ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph found.

A move to complete English independence from the rest of the UK was backed by 48% of voters in England.

The telephone poll, conducted on 22 and 23 November, interviewed 1,003 Scots and 869 English people.

'Shared values'

Earlier this month a similar ICM poll for The Scotsman found 51% of Scots wanted to break away from England.

The latest poll comes as Labour ministers lined up at the party's Scottish conference in Oban to attack the SNP's pledge to hold a referendum on independence if it gains power at next May's Scottish Parliament elections.

Responding to the poll, Chancellor Gordon Brown repeated the warning he had given delegates in Oban.

"There is a debate to be had about the future of the United Kingdom," he said.

"But I think when you look at the arguments, when you look at the family ties, the economic connections, the shared values, the history of our relationship which has lasted 300 years, people will decide we are stronger together and weaker apart."

The union between England, Scotland and Wales is good for us all
David Cameron
Tory leader

SNP leader Alex Salmond said that Scots were tired of being ruled from London.

"The onset of devolution has made people realise that since we have a devolved parliament, it's time to have a real parliament with real powers," he said.

Mr Salmond suggested that Labour wanted to maintain the union out of "naked self interest" - to retain its grip on Westminster.

He added that English voters were "quite rightly" resentful of the influence of Scottish MPs in English affairs.

"The people of both countries are now seeing through this unionist charade and supporting independence and self-respect for both countries," Mr Salmond said.

Bedded down

Tory leader David Cameron backed the union and dismissed the notion of a new English parliament.

Mr Cameron said: "The union between England, Scotland and Wales is good for us all and we are stronger together than we are apart."

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem leader, said: "Once devolution has bedded down in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it would be entirely appropriate to consider the role of MPs from all three countries at Westminster.

"We should do this calmly and rationally by means of a constitutional convention with a responsibility to report to parliament."


SEE ALSO
SNP 'not fit for purpose' - Reid
26 Nov 06 |  Scotland
Blair urges 'fight for Scotland'
24 Nov 06 |  Scotland
'Longer life' under independence
21 Nov 06 |  Scotland
'Prepare for power' says Salmond
11 Oct 06 |  Scotland
Salmond gives independence vision
26 Oct 06 |  Scotland

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