VETERAN rock star Fish has revealed that he turned down requests to campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in the independence referendum – because he is emigrating to Germany.
Former Marillion frontman Fish, 56 – real name Derek Dick – said he had been asked “to become actively involved in campaigns” but declined because he believes it would be “hypocritical” as he is planning to leave Scotland for Germany to live with his partner and her young son.
The rocker, who was brought up in Glebe Street in Dalkeith and lives in Haddington, said: “It will come as no surprise to fans of my music, and to most people who know me, that I have been an advocate for independence for a very long time and as such my views have not changed in recent months.
“I have listened to the debates and arguments with interest and an open mind and have considered both sides of the equations on offer.
“I personally believe that Scotland as a nation can make it on its own, although I do not envisage it being an easy ride in the formative years.”
The singer made clear his voting intentions just days before a new video campaign starring pro-Union celebrities was launched to encourage people in the UK to have a say in Scotland’s independence referendum.
The film, which is called Let’s Stay Together – Scotland, you’re my best friend, features Scots Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman, EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, comedian Eddie Izzard and former Wales international footballer Ian Rush.
But Fish said he was voting Yes because he had been “dismayed” by the UK’s anti-European stance and did not believe a “London-based government” was “beneficial to the UK as a whole”.
He added that he was not “anti-English” but thought an independent Scotland could “shake up British politics” to ensure a more “fair distribution of wealth” throughout the UK.
“The referendum could provide a key to a door that opens up an entire new era of political thought and for that I can only hope,” he said.
“These are my opinions and I am sure there are those who will disagree. But, as a resident of Scotland and as a tax-paying UK citizen, I have the right to vote on September 18 and as such I will be voting ‘Yes’.”
But he said he had chosen to step back from campaigning because it was “highly likely” he would take up permanent residence in Germany within the next two years.
“I am and always will be Scottish, whatever the outcome of the referendum and wherever I choose to live, and the future of Scotland will be decided by the people of Scotland on September 18,” he said.
“I know the decision will be taken wisely and I urge everyone, no matter who they decide to vote for, to cast a ballot paper to determine our future so no-one can question the eventual result.
Fish also revealed that he considered entering grassroots politics but has “more baggage than the average politician” which he said would be “readily paraded”.