Gove: ‘Independence would make Granny seem foreign’

Michael  Gove, Secretary of State for Education. Picture: Neil Hanna
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education. Picture: Neil Hanna
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WESTMINSTER Education Secretary Michael Gove last night made an impassioned plea for the UK saying that he did not want his children to view their “granny and grandad” as foreigners.

Mr Gove, who grew up in Aberdeen but is now based in London, spoke of his belief in the Union drawing on the shared history of Scotland and England.

He said: “Speaking as someone who now lives and works in England; who is bringing up their children in London, I don’t think Scotland should be an independent nation because I think England and the rest of the United Kingdom benefit from the fact that we are 
stronger together. And this is at the heart of my commitment to the United Kingdom.

“I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that granny and grandad are foreigners. I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that the country that their dad was born in is a foreign land.

“And I don’t want my children to grow up thinking that 300 years of proud history has ended because a narrow nationalist vision trumped the generosity of spirit which has characterised these islands throughout all of our lifetimes.”

Mr Gove said that 2014 had not only been earmarked as the referendum year and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, but was also the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and was 70 years since D-Day.

“Next year is the anniversary of the First World War. When English, Scottish Irish and Welsh soldiers stood together to defend our freedoms,” he said.

“And next year will also, of course, be the anniversary – the 70th anniversary – of D-Day. When this country liberated Europe from totalitarianism it was the stir of the pipes which was heard as the first troops went ashore in Normandy.

“Scottish, British, Irish united under the United Kingdom flag determined to defeat tyranny, determined to stand for liberty. That is woven into who I am, but Alex Salmond wants to rip it out. Let’s not let him.”