Cameron to hold first cabinet meeting in Scotland - source

LONDON Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:53pm GMT

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron leaves number 10 Downing Street in central London June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron leaves number 10 Downing Street in central London June 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's cabinet will hold its first meeting in Scotland next week, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as it seeks to persuade Scots to stay in the United Kingdom.

Scots will decide in a referendum on September 18 whether their nation of five million people should end its 307-year-old union with England and leave the United Kingdom.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the British cabinet would meet on February 24 in northeast Scotland, but gave no further details.

Since coming to power in 2010, Cameron's coalition cabinet has met in the Welsh capital Cardiff and in the central English city of Derby but never in Scotland. His predecessor Gordon Brown, a Scot, did hold a British cabinet meeting in Scotland.

Polls suggest Scots will reject independence, though many voters remain undecided and Cameron has said the outcome hangs in the balance.

Cameron, whose Conservative party holds only one of the 59 UK parliament seats in Scotland, has said a vote for independence would undermine Britain's global clout and risks political and financial instability.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who is leading the push for independence, is also due to hold a meeting of the Scottish cabinet in northeast Scotland on February 24.

The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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