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MICHAEL SETTLE BRITAIN'S clout in Brussels and Washington depends on its unity with Scotland, former Chancellor Ken Clarke will admit today. The Coalition minister will stress that while independence would mean Scotland losing its membership of bodies like the G8 and UN Security Council "overnight", it would also mean the UK's influence would begin to "melt away". In a message to underline how "bigger is better in trade and diplomacy" and highlight the benefits Scotland has as part of the UK and EU, Mr Clarke will say: "It is not just in Brussels and Washington that our clout depends on our unity with Scotland. The UK is an influential member of the G7, the G8, the G20, all the Councils of Europe, Nato, the IMF, and a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. "If Scotland votes for independence, this would all start to melt away and our presence would be reduced." He also notes: "Scotland would lose its membership of the G7, the G8, the G20 and the UN Security Council overnight." Speaking at an event organised by BritishAmerican Business to discuss the EU-US free trade agreement currently being negotiated, the minister without portfolio will explain: "English and Scottish membership of the UK and the UK's membership of the EU give us the clout we need to influence events and decisions in the interests of our citizens and to maximise our voice in responding to the challenges of the modern world."
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