Concerns of Ukip voters ‘must be understood’

BETTER Together chief executive Blair McDougall has warned that politicians and voters must understand the fears and frustrations of those who backed Ukip in the European elections, and not brush them aside.

Chief of Better Together Blair McDougall. Picture: Robert Perry

He said that to do so would be to “fall into the nationalist trap of also claiming that it is all somebody else’s fault”.

Writing in The Scotsman today, he says: “the way to tackle division and grievance isn’t a different form of division and grievance”.

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He adds: “It is depressing that so many of my fellow Scots felt so frustrated by our political elites in Holyrood or Westminster that they gave their vote to Ukip.

“The way to tackle this problem – and make no mistake, the growth of Ukip is a problem for Scotland – is to understand the fears and frustrations of Ukip voters and address them together.”

He also stated that Scotland would be better placed to cope with economic troubles as part of the UK, with the tax base support that brings, rather than go it alone from 2016 after a Yes vote on 18 September.

He writes: “There are big economic reasons for Scotland staying in the UK.

“Being part an economy of more than 60 million people, rather than just five million people in Scotland, means that we can better face the economic challenges ahead, such as the decline in oil revenue and the rapid rise in our pensioner population.

“This referendum will undoubtedly be decided on economics – whether or not people believe walking away from the UK would increase their standard of living or help Scottish families better make ends meet.”