Britain is at risk of falling out of love with itself, says MP calling for change in unionist tactics

A SCOTTISH Tory MP has urged pro-UK parties to appeal to a sense of nationhood rather than relying on economic arguments and constitutional wrangling to persuade Scots to vote against independence.

In an article for Politics Home, Rory Stewart, the MP for Penrith and The Border in the north of England, has warned that Britain is at risk of “falling out of love with itself” because of a “small group of eccentric Scottish Nationalists” and English “spouting 18th-century prejudices”.

In what appears to be a criticism of the tactics used by the unionist side, he appealed for parties to reinvigorate a sense of common nationhood in the UK in the referendum campaign.

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Mr Stewart, seen as a future big hitter in the Tory party, warned that people “don’t seem to care” that “we are in danger of losing our country”.

He wrote: “The Union formed us: all the magnificence, we talk about over the last 300 years, from every side of the politics – whether it is Waterloo, D-day, or the NHS – we achieved together.”

He added: “Our modern world and identity have all been formed in the context of the Union. The Enlightenment, our economics, our romances and half our technology flowed down from Scotland. The Clyde and Merseyside went together through the industrial revolution. We gained and lost an empire and won our wars together.”

And he said there seemed no reason for the British state to break up. He claimed the world could see what was good about the UK more than the UK itself.

“The whole world sees what is magnificent, to be admired and cherished in England and Scotland. But not it seems, ourselves. And I fear we will only understand what we’ve lost when it’s already gone.”