Saturday, March 11, 2017

What a rational supporter of Scottish Independence would argue.

I am a Unionist for both reasons of national identity - I regard myself as British rather than English - and because I believe that maintaining the United Kingdom is in the interests of each of the four nations of the UK.

So I have mixed feelings about the extreme irrationality of the pro-Independence side of the argument in Scotland.

On the one hand, my head argues that the fact that Nicola Sturgeon and the majority of the SNP, as they did when Salmond was leader, are making such a contradictory and incoherent case, ought to make the outcome I want to see - the continuation of the UK - more likely.

On the other hand, the fact that so much blind emotion rather than rational thought is invested in the argument is one reason the whole debate has been so divisive and harmful.

So it was interesting to read an open letter by Jim Sillars, a former Deputy Leader of the SNP who unlike the present leadership of is party, has a logically consistent attitude to London and Brussels, to the rest of the "Yes" movement in Scotland, which you can read here.

I hope people read and think about his article, not because I agree with everything he says let alone want the same outcome he does, but because if Scotland does vote for Independence it should be because of a rational choice about what is actually in the interests of Scotland and not because they have swallowed the malignant and nonsensical propaganda of the SNP.

And on the question of when any hypothetical second independence referendum should take place Sillars is 100% right and Sturgeon 100% wrong.

The time when the voters of Scotland will be in a position to make an informed choice will be when the process of negotiating a Brexit deal is complete and we know what terms of trade with the EU are available to a Scotland that stays in the UK - not when those terms are still being negotiated.

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