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Government steps up its campaign for the Union

DAVID Cameron is due to make his first visit of 2013 to Scotland next week as the UK Government appears to be increasing the political momentum in its campaign against Scottish independence.

The Prime Minister's visit could include a keynote speech to coincide with a jobs announcement.

He is the latest senior member of the Coalition to head north of the Border recently, with Chancellor George Osborne expected to make a visit to coincide with the publication of the second Whitehall policy paper on the currency and financial regulation.

Last month, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, used a speech in Glasgow to say that an independent Scotland would not be guaranteed access to crucial intelligence on terrorism and organised crime from the UK and from other states.

Two weeks ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, on a visit to Edinburgh, accused the SNP Government of offering woefully thin and juvenile proposals for an independent Scottish defence force.

Last week, Ken Clarke, Minister Without Portfolio, attacked Alex Salmond in Edinburgh over his claim of a second oil boom, urging the First Minister not to "bet the ranch on a flow of oil revenues on figures which you seem to have pulled from the air".

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, spoke at a conference in Edinburgh yesterday.

Today in Aberdeen, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and his Liberal Democrat colleague, Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, will launch the UK Government's new oil and gas strategy.

Mr Davey is expected to claim: "Only the UK can deliver the help required to the oil and gas industry over a sustained period to get the most out of the North Sea."

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, was at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference and is due in May to be on Orkney.

Meanwhile, at Westminster, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, the Advocate General, appeared to concede that if, following a no vote in the Scottish independence referendum next year, there was a move towards greater powers for Holyrood, then there would have to be another referendum for the whole of the UK.

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