A Scottish expatriate’s voice which I am very glad to share:
Along with around 1.1 million other Scottish expatriates I’m denied a vote on independence because I live outside Scotland.
Officially speaking my voice counts for nothing, all I can do now is share the approach I was taking to come to my decision. As difficult as it is I hope people are able to look at it from a neutral position. Politicians on both sides of the fence have their own bias, as do any of you who identify yourselves as unionist or nationalist. It’s virtually impossible for me to write about it without inputting my own bias, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me either. That said, the way I see it is that it breaks down into a few key areas, with some questions that need answered in each one:
Firstly, economics. This is probably what the result will, or should, come down to. Should we reduce diversity and rely on banking and oil? The link posted is from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn135.pdf), generally seen as the “authoritative, and politically independent, voice in this area” (according to The Economist). If you don’t have time then skip to the conclusion on page 29. This is a long term decision, to have to go back would put ourselves in a weaker position.
Secondly, the bigger picture. It would be selfish for us to think of this as simply a Scottish issue. How will the UK be affected? By removing a large chunk of left-wing votes, for example. How will that affect the EU? What precedent will it set for other territories that desire independence? Is it really (or will it ever be) the time to weaken national and European ties?
Finally, where we are now. We’re already largely independent from the UK. How many times have we proudly announced that we have free prescriptions while England doesn’t? That we can get a university education for free, unlike England? Are we not in a strong position now? What might we have to sacrifice?
We might be able to survive alone but does it mean we should?
Do we need the letters on the front of our passports to change to feel and identify ourselves as Scottish?