Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her distaste for David Cameron and his speech in London, urging those in the rest of the UK to become involved in the independence debate.
The Scottish Government makes the point that the decision is one for the Scottish people and yet this contains a degree of hypocrisy.
Firstly, First Minister Alex Salmond and his ministers have told the rest of the UK that in the event of a Yes vote, the rest of the UK must accept a currency union and open borders with what will then be a foreign country.
Given that many of the SNP’s policies echoed in the white paper would have a detrimental effect south of the Border – increased immigration into Scotland with no checks on who went south and the expectation that in the event of a financial crisis in Scotland it would be English, Welsh and Northern Irish taxpayers who provided the lender of last resort funds – it is perfectly right that Mr Cameron involves those in the rest of the UK.
However, there is another point that seems to have been missed by the media and the Better Together campaign.
On page 273 of the white paper it is stated that on the day of independence, all British citizens domiciled in Scotland will become Scottish.The same section of the white paper also states that Scottish citizenship will be automatic for any British citizen born in Scotland but living outside of Scotland. These people will have no vote – a real democratic deficit – and will have to apply to the UK for dual citizenship.
How can the SNP justify changing the citizenship status of people who live outwith Scotland and who have been denied a say in the referendum.
One thing the UK Government must do is to make clear that British citizens who wish to remain British and solely British will be protected in the event of a Yes vote.
The only alternative for those who are British and were born outside Scotland and who wish for no change to their status is to sell up and move south before independence day. How many will that be?
(Dr) Roger I Cartwright
With reference to David’s Cameron speech urging people in the rest of the UK to use their influence to persuade Scots to say No to independence, I heard all the same arguments rehearsed passionately by a man I met in London last month. The only difference was that he did not talk about the UK being diminished, but England.
It is indeed England that is the problem. For most English, the UK and England are synonymous. We will see that at Murrayfield this afternoon when the English sing the UK national anthem.
It is the same argument that Moscow will have used to urge Finland, Estonia, Latvia and other satellite countries not to weaken the USSR and Putin is now using to urge Ukraine not to leave the Russian sphere of influence.
It is all about not hurting the dominant partner and very little about benefiting the junior partner.
David R Hill
Isn’t it a bit rich that David Cameron appeals to the rest of the UK to encourage Scots to reject independence, invoking the spirit of Team GB, when that very term – Team GB – effectively ignores, denies or precludes the involvement of athletes from Northern Ireland?
Nicola Sturgeon criticises David Cameron for making a speech at the site of the 2012 Olympics on the grounds that “to politicise any sporting occasion is shameful”.
Has she forgotten her leader’s appearance at the final of Wimbledon last year? I do not welcome Mr Cameron’s intervention but at least he has shown that he can behave with decorum.
Waving a Saltire at Mr Cameron’s back was not only “shameful politicising” but immature posturing and a complete embarrassment to the people of Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon’s comments are typical of the double standards of the SNP.
Braid Hills Avenue
The English Better Together supporter, the Conservative MP Rory Stewart, has announced he is planning to recruit 100,000 English activists to make a human chain along Hadrian’s Wall bearing torches in a bid to convince Scots to vote No in September.
He says his initiative, called Hands Across the Border, is an emotional appeal to Scots to remain within the Union.
Erm, it is a well-known fact that Hadrian’s Wall separates England from England. Apart from a couple of miles across the estuary of the river Eden near Bowness on Solway separating England from Scotland, almost the entire length of the wall is situated entirely within England. Indeed, Wallsend is about 67 miles from the Scottish Border near Berwick-upon-Tweed.
One would have thought that the Parliamentary representative of Penrith and the Border, of all people, would have been aware of this fact.
His Geordie supporters, in particular, are going to need very long hands to stretch across the Border. Better Together is going to need greater accuracy than this in its campaign if it is to convince the electorate of Scotland of its case.
I have not spoken to my estranged elder brother, who now lives in Kent, for nearly 30 years. No doubt inspired by David Cameron’s stirring speech, he e-mailed me to say: “I’ve never liked you, you wee b******, so you had better vote Yes or else.”
I am not sure if that was David Cameron’s intended result when imploring the population of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to use their influence on Scottish voters in the forthcoming independence referendum.