Scottish independence: Why it's wrong for Scots living in England to vote in referendum – Helen Martin

It seems the UK, or more specifically Westminster, is trying hard to come up with new ideas to persuade people in Scotland to give up voting for independence.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:55 am
People living in Scotland, whatever their nationality, should decide whether it becomes independent (Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)
People living in Scotland, whatever their nationality, should decide whether it becomes independent (Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s rather late as they hadn’t accepted for years that another Indyref was likely, let alone that our government would promise it must happen within the next two years. But their attempts to retain the Union now are hysterical and disastrous rather than inspiring and compelling.

I choked with laughter when I heard of last Friday’s One Britain One Nation Day and a sudden announcement that school pupils in England Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland should sing a new UK anthem, dress in red, white and blue, and wave the Union Jack.

That just doesn’t happen in Scotland, perhaps it does with half the population in Northern Ireland, and maybe just a few in Wales, but in any event, what is there to “celebrate” about the UK anyway? It’s in the worst financial, trading, and globally unpopular situation it’s ever been in my life. It’s lost any respect from the EU and US governments.

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The sad truth is that Westminster doesn’t understand very much of Scotland and Wales. It assumes Britishness is based on Englishness, and doesn’t register how different we are.

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Law, education, taxation, free tuition, free prescriptions, more financial support for elderly care, and much more are alternative systems to those of England’s government.

While these systems are ignored, so are the votes of our people such as the majority wanting to stay in the EU. There was no consideration of that. England voted to leave.

Senior Tories now are pushing for a change to the future Indyref. Rather than those, regardless of their birth and nationality, who now live and work in Scotland getting to vote, the Tory plan is that the almost 900,000 “Scots” who live in the rest of the UK (the majority in England) should also be able to vote.

They might have lived in England for 50 years, or only been born in Scotland and immediately taken back to England. Many of these people, just like most Westminster MPs, know nothing and don’t care about Scotland.

My sport-obsessed husband is acutely aware of UK sports teams which are mostly English. The GB men’s hockey squad for the Olympics next month in Tokyo is made up of 14 English, two Welsh and zero Scots. The GB women’s football squad is 15 English, two Scots and one Welsh. The women’s hockey squad is 13 English, two Welsh and one Scot.

It’s the same with almost all “GB” teams. The squads are obliged to include one or two from elsewhere, otherwise it would be (and really is) an English team. Having a larger population is no excuse if the whole “Union” is to be represented.

There are many English people who live and work in Scotland. Many feel part of the country, and understand our national attitude. They accept we are ignored by Westminster so they’re up for independence. There are some who want to maintain the UK. They’re all entitled to vote in an Indyref because they all live here along with all other nationalities and immigrants.

But there must be no vote for Scots who live in another country, even England.

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