09/10/2014 06:25 EDT | Updated 11/10/2014 05:59 EST

Scotland independence vote: U.K. PM David Cameron begs for unity

British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging Scottish voters not to break up the British "family" in an independence referendum next week. 

Writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, Cameron told Scots: "We desperately want you to stay; we do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart."

Cameron and the leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties cancelled a weekly Parliamentary question session to make a late campaign trip to Scotland on Wednesday.

Polls suggest the two sides are neck-and-neck ahead of the Sept. 18 vote, which could end Scotland's 307-year-old union with England.

Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond says visits by the unpopular English politicians could only help the Yes campaign. He said: "If I thought they were coming by bus, I'd send the bus fare."