Scottish independence: Clan chiefs to stay neutral

SCOTLAND’S clan chiefs are to maintain a neutral position ahead of September’s referendum on Scottish independence.

The clan chiefs made the announcement ahead of the Bannockburn Live event later this month. Picture: Greg Macvean
The clan chiefs made the announcement ahead of the Bannockburn Live event later this month. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC), which comprises the vast majority of the current leaders of Scotland’s ancient clans, has confirmed that it will not take a stance on the referendum, but will leave its members open to express their opinions in a personal capacity.

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In a statement ahead of this month’s Bannockburn Live event, the SCSC has stressed the desire of its members to remain neutral in the debate.

SCSC convener Sir Malcolm MacGregor wrote: “There are varying views amongst chiefs and clans over what is best for Scotland.

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“Because of these differing opinions, the SCSC will not comment on independence.”

MacGregor told The Independent: “Outwardly, I suppose we wear the attire – kilts and tartan – which might designate a nationalist, but I would never suggest that because of that the clans are biased towards the nationalists.

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“If you look at the history of Scotland and the clans you will find many who are in fact unionists. I’d be wary of saying ‘If you’re in a kilt, you must be a nationalist’.”

Clan Skene chief Danus Skene told the paper: “I’m a patron of Yes Scotland. For me, it’s a matter of management common sense.”

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The latest ICM opinion poll for Scotland on Sunday shows 36 per cent of Scots are in favour of independence, with 43 per cent against. Over a fifth (21 per cent) are undecided.