New pro-Union think tank launched ahead of Indyref2

A new think tank has been launched by the team behind the idea of 200 public figures signing an open letter to Scots urging them to vote No in the 2014 independence referendum.

A new think tank has been launched. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL staff.
A new think tank has been launched. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL staff.

Historians Tom Holland and Dan Snow, who were behind the ‘Scotland, please stay’ campaign that was described as ‘lovebombing’ the country into staying in the Union, have teamed up with two academics and a leading Unionist blogger as another vote on Scotland’s constitutional future looms.

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Using the working title ‘These Islands’, the think tank was officially incorporated in February of this year by Kevin Hague, a businessman and anti-independence blogger who has also featured in national newspapers.

Tom Holland

Mr Holland and Mr Snow are reported to be part of an advisory council that will work with the new group, expected to launch next May.

Mr Holland told the Sunday Times that the bonds of the union have been ‘slightly frayed’ by Brexit, after a poll showed those who backed leaving the EU would happily sacrifice the union to enshrine the vote in June 2016.

Mr Hague also told a newspaper that “We’re trying to avoid being defined by the Scottish independence question and take a wider perspective.”

Tom Holland

“The one thing that we are unashamed about is the belief that more unites us than divides us. “

The letter co-ordinated by the two historians in August of 2014 was signed by celebrities and public figures from the worlds of sport and academia.

Signatories included David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking.

The duo also backed the ‘Scotland in Union’ campaign after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accelerated her plans for another referendum late last year.

That group courted controversy last month by unveiling a giant picture of Ms Sturgeon with the caption ‘Referendumb’ – calling the SNP leader’s plans “stupid”.