Scottish independence movement ‘anti-English’, claims former Tory minister
THE movement for Scottish independence is “anti-English”, a former Westminster Cabinet minister has claimed.
Veteran Eurosceptic John Redwood said English nationalism is “the new force in UK politics”.
He has called for greater devolved powers for England, both from the UK and from the EU, regardless of the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.
Mr Redwood is an outspoken opponent of European integration, and was a thorn in the side of John Major when serving in his Cabinet as Welsh Secretary. He stood unsuccessfully against the former Prime Minister for leadership of the party in 1995.
Writing on his blog, Mr Redwood said: “One of the great ironies of the Scottish ‘independence’ movement is it is not truly an independence movement at all.
“It is a dependence movement, wishing to shift Scotland to Brussels control directly. It is an anti-English movement more than it is an independence movement.”
He added: “There are English Eurosceptics now who not only want out of the EU, but want an independent England.
“To them the ideal outcome would be England leaving the Union of the UK, and leaving the EU at the same time.
“Scotland and the rest could keep the EU membership as a leaving present or a poison pill, depending on how you look at it.
“England would then be free to spend her own taxes, make her own laws, and run her own affairs as she used to before the 1707 union and the 1972 union.”
Mr Redwood said he is “happy” for Scotland to decide its own future, but “only on the understanding that should Scotland decide to stay, there must be a new deal for England”.
He said: “If Scotland seeks devo max, and the UK Government is prepared to offer it as the price of keeping Scotland in, we must insist on devo max for England as well.
“As an English MP I want my country to be self-governing, if Scotland splits away.
“I want the UK to have a referendum on its relationship with the EU. If the UK splits, I would hope both Scotland and the rest would have to renegotiate with the EU.
“That would give England our opportunity to say we want trade and friendship agreements, not membership of the emerging superstate.”
He added: “The EU fits ill with English nationalism, which is the new force in UK politics which the SNP are deliberately fostering.”
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