Cameron: Games have brought UK closer together

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Vice-President of Brazil Michel Temer. Photo / AP
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Vice-President of Brazil Michel Temer. Photo / AP

David Cameron declared the Olympics a boost for the Union and economic regeneration as he promised millions more for sport in the run-up to the 2016 Games in Brazil.

In a move that will infuriate the Scottish Nationalists, the Prime Minister said the two-week sporting spectacular had brought the nations of the UK closer together.

And he vowed that by showing the same resilience and determination as athletes, politicians and the public could drag the country out of its economic malaise.

Mr Cameron spoke out at a Downing Street press conference called to announce that sports would continue to receive £125million a year up to the next Games in Rio de Janeiro in an effort to emulate the record medal haul.

But in a calculated intervention aimed squarely at those seeking a referendum on the future of the Union between Scotland and the rest of the UK, he said the whole country had united behind the sight of athletes from the four corners of the land.

'It's a Britain where English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish compete in one team and drape themselves in one flag.'

That was a pointed reference to tennis player Andy Murray, who once said that he would support anyone but England at football, but who wrapped himself in the Union Flag and even sang the first few lines of God Save the Queen when he won Olympic gold. Labour and Tory politicians working on the campaign to save the Union in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 believe the Olympics have made a yes vote less likely.

The Scottish National Party has been widely derided in Scotland for attempting to dismiss the achievements of Team GB by describing Scottish medallists as 'Scolympians'.

Sir Chris Hoy, who won his fifth and record sixth Olympic golds in the velodrome, has described himself as a proud Scotsman and Brit. He has resisted attempts by the SNP to claim his successes as purely Scottish.

Mr Cameron said the Olympics would provide immediate economic benefits but could also show the way back for the economy.

He said: 'You only need two words to sum up these Games: Britain delivered. We showed the world what we are made of, we reminded ourselves what we can do and we demonstrated that you should never ever count Team GB down and out.'

- Daily Mail

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