Scottish independence: Voters in rest of the UK say no financial aid to independent Scotland

Guy Bentley
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77 per cent say the UK should give no financial help to an independent Scotland (Source: Getty)

As we enter the final days of the campaign for Scottish independence, the polls are coming in thick and fast. The Sunday papers carried three polls, with two placing the no vote in the lead.

The poll which did put the Yes campaign in the lead - by eight points - was largely ignored because of its negligible sample size.

While the decision will be that of Scots alone, the consequences will stretch far beyond their country's borders. Overnight, Survation came out with some interesting numbers on English and Welsh attitudes to independence.

The figures showed a solid majority didn't want to see the Scots leave, with 62 per cent saying they were in favour of a no vote, compared with a meagre 13 per cent supporting yes.

The results also showed those south of the border believe Scotland gets a good deal from the 307-year old union, with more than 60 per cent saying they don't think North Sea oil justifies Scotland's high levels of public spending. Government spending in Scotland amounted to £10,317 per head in 2012-13 compared to the more modest UK average of £8,940.

This may help to explain why 40 per cent of English and Welsh people believed Scots will be worse off if they secede, compared with just 13 per cent who thought Scotland will be better off.

If the Scots do decide to go their own way, the rest of the UK is unlikely to be in the mood to make life easy for Alex Salmond and risk its financial security for a foreign government.

More than 61 per cent said the UK should not agree to a currency union with Scotland. Furthermore, 48 per cent of those surveyed said there should be a guarded border between England and Scotland if Scotland joins the Schengen area, a grouping of 26 European countries which allow free travel of non-European visitors between them. A whopping 77 per cent said the rest of the UK should give no financial assistance to an independent Scotland.

The poll indicates there may be bitter conflicts to come in the event of a Yes vote. Chancellor George Osborne has vowed Scotland will not be part of a formal currency union. However, Alex Salmond has claimed that such a union would be beneficial to both sides and that the UK government's position will soften if Scotland secedes.

Even if Scotland votes no it will find UK public opinion is not satisfied with the status quo. In August, a YouGov poll found 56 per cent of English voters wanted to see a crackdown on Scottish public spending. UKIP and Tory voters were the most enthusiastic to see a trimming of Scotland's share of the tax take, with 70 per cent supporting cuts after a No vote.

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