Positive reasons why people are voting No

Sir Robert Smith
Sir Robert Smith

As I knock on the doors and meet people around West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine I am coming across those who have already sent off their vote be post. With a week left until the rest will vote in person, people are telling me the positive reasons why they are choosing to vote no.

There is a growing sense that you can be a patriotic Scot and still want to keep ties with the rest of UK. Many people feel they are both Scottish and British and they welcome the fact there is no border with the rest of the UK.

We have achieved much together on these islands and people ask why we need to go through the upheaval of separation. It is worth noting that many institutions we value have a shared heritage and were created in the UK.

The NHS is a common creation that has delivered so much health care over the decades free at the point of need throughout the UK. The Scottish Parliament currently has the power over health care to ensure the NHS here reflects our needs and values.

The BBC, which was founded by a Scotsman from Stonehaven, has grown to become a greatly respected institution around the globe.

We benefit with access to programmes funded by licence payers from across the UK. At the same time our creative industries benefit from the BBC’s spend on production in Scotland for the UK network.

Our universities have built up a research reputation that means the UK taxpayer spends more through research funding in Scotland than an even share would allocate.

The UK is the world’s second largest donor of international aid making a real difference to some of the poorest people around the globe. A lot of the people that make that possible are employed by UK Aid in East Kilbride here in Scotland.

The lottery with the whole UK to serve does support major projects here in Scotland. While anyone could enter the lottery to win the prize the good causes that ticket money supports would no longer be in Scotland if we separate.

By voting NO we get the continued benefit of so many institutions that do not stop at the border.

Particularly important to the North-east, with so much export work, is the support of a major network of embassies and trade missions that have generations of experience of working in almost every country around the globe.

If we vote NO and stay in the UK we get a say in the policies of the Bank of England as lender of last resort enabling the Government to sustain public services in an economic downturn.

Alex Salmond’s campaign has argued we do not get our voice heard as part of the UK and do not get our fair share. Yet in putting his case for separation he dismisses concerns about the upheaval and disruption this would cause saying negotiations will go easily.

He claims that the rest of the UK will deliver everything we in Scotland want once we vote to separate.

These are the self-same people he says do not treat us fairly as part of the UK.

In failing to publicly acknowledge the reality of the situation he is raising expectations that would be a very poor foundation on which to start our journey separated from the rest of the UK.

We are not an oppressed nation seeking to break free of an occupying force.

We are an independent nation that has joined a union which has evolved over the last 300 years and can continue to evolve.

As proud Scots we can go to the polling station next Thursday and boldly vote NO Thanks and get the best of both worlds.