Scotland: 'Yes' campaigners lambasted

Economist Alan Greenspan has dismissed the independence campaign’s promises as implausible.

DILE:A pro-independence supporter holds a "Yes" flag as Scottish MP Jim Murphy addresses pro-union "Better Together" campaign supporters in Edinburgh on 8 September, 2014. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - As campaigners for and against Scottish independence attempt to win over last minute undecided voters, an internationally-renowned economist has made scathing comments about how the country would fare outside the United Kingdom.

The highly respected us economist Alan Greenspan has dismissed the independence campaign's promises as 'implausible' and is scathing about their predictions of income from North Sea oil revenues.

Campaigners on both side of the argument have grown used to claims and counter-claims about the strength or weakness of the economy of an independent Scotland.

However, this criticism from usually reserved US economist is so dismissive of the claims made by the independent campaign, it surprised many.

The former chairman of the US Federal Reserve has accused the 'yes' campaign of drastically underestimating the economic damage a 'yes' to this referendum would cause.

He said there was no chance London would agree to this.

Meanwhile, Scottish supporters of staying in the United Kingdom are 4 percentage points ahead of secessionists with just a day to go before Scots vote in an independence referendum, three different opinion polls showed.

The United Kingdom's fate remains uncertain as the three surveys - from pollsters ICM, Opinium and Survation - showed support for Scottish independence at 48 percent compared to 52 percent backing union.

The polls found 8 to 14 percent of Scotland's 4.3 million voters were still undecided before polls open at 0600 local time on Thursday.

All three polls showed nationalists had gained ground, but the fact that supporters of the union were ahead in the polls prompted investors to buy the pound, extending sterling's gain against the US dollar.

"It is very tight," John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University and one of Scotland's premier pollsters, told the Scotsman newspaper which commissioned the ICM poll.

"At the moment it looks as if the 'yes' campaign is going to fall agonisingly short from their perspective. But I have always said this is the 'no' campaign's to lose and it certainly looks as if they have got pretty close to that."

In the face of the biggest internal threat to the United Kingdom since Ireland broke away nearly a century ago, Britain's establishment - from Prime Minister David Cameron to the City of London and football star David Beckham - have united in an almost panicked effort to implore Scots that the United Kingdom is "Better Together."

Attempting to blunt nationalist leader Alex Salmond's argument for breaking away, Britain's rulers promised to guarantee Scotland high levels of state funding and grant Scots greater control over finances.

British leaders accept that even if Scotland votes to keep the 307-year union, the United Kingdom's structure will have to change as the rush to grant so many powers to Scotland will provoke calls for a less centralised state from voters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Swathes of voters in the former industrial heartlands of northern England and Wales depend on state welfare spending while some English lawmakers in Cameron's own party have already asked for England to be given more powers.