I believe that it is fundamentally better for us all, if decisions about Scotland's future are taken by the people who care most about Scotland, that is, by the people of Scotland.AnswerThe people of Scotland already decide about the future of Scotland because we live in a democracy. In the United States, the people of Vermont and Texas decide about their future as they vote in elections, elect representatives and have their say. To suggest that the Scottish people do not take the decision about Scotland's future, because they are in the UK is to imply that neither do the people of any state in the USA. I wonder if the first minister would like to explain that reasoning next time he has a conversation with the US president.The same can be said of many countries in the EU, which are made up of countries which formerly were independent, such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.Being independent means Scotland's future will be in Scotland's hands.AnswerSee above. But do you really think that independence guarantees freedom of action. Greece is an independent state, as is the Republic of Ireland as is Portugal, but each of these countries has constraints on their government, owing to their membership of the Eurozone and to their receipt of bailouts. The fact that they were small independent nations meant that they could not weather the storm of economic crisis alone.An independent Scotland would, Mr Salmond hopes, be a member of the EU and would retain the pound. We know that the EU already constrains the British state, and so it would also constrain a new Scottish state, perhaps more so as the new Scottish state would have less influence and less voting rights. Being in a monetary union with the rest of the UK would entail a degree of cooperation, perhaps even a rUK chancellor having the right to oversee the Scottish budget. No one really knows, but the likelihood is that Scotland would end up in an ever closer union with both the UK and the EU. Not much real independence there I'm afraid. At least now we have a say in the UK parliament, two Scots have recently been chancellors. There is no doubt that Scotland has great potential. We are blessed with talent, resources and creativity. We have the opportunity to make our nation a better place to live, for this and future generations. We can build a greener, fairer and more prosperous society that is stronger and more successful than it is today.AnswerThis is mostly fluff that any political organisation will put forward as reasons to vote for them. But anyway all of these things could be achieved, insofar as they are possible, without independence. Scottish people who have had talent have flourished in the union for centuries. Scotland is already a part of one of the wealthiest, freest and most democratic countries in the world. We would all like to be more wealthy than we are, we would all like all manner of nice things. But most of us don't believe politicians when they make these sorts of promises.I want a Scotland that speaks with her own voice and makes her own unique contribution to the world: a Scotland that stands alongside the other nations on these isles, as an independent nation.
AnswerScotland already can speak with its own voice and many Scots already do so. We have our own parliament, with wide and extensive powers. Some of there have barely been used hitherto. The contribution that Scotland makes to the world, largely depends on individual Scots. Great writers such as Robert Burns or Walter Scott, great thinkers, like David Hume and Adam Smith. These great Scots achieved what they achieved within the union, some would say because of the union. The union has not hindered Scotland's contribution to the world, why should it prevent us making further contributions in the future.Scotland will not stand alongside the other nations in the UK, it will stand apart. Divorces are rarely amicable, frequently bitter and Scotland has much to lose if it rejects a union which has lasted for centuries and brought benefit to all. If Scotland rejects our friends and relations in the rest of the UK, don't expect them to welcome us the next time we need their help. Look at what happened when Ukraine seceded from Russia. There is now a large degree of mutual loathing and minimal cooperation, where formerly people barely thought of each other as being different at all. Scots are some of the luckiest people in the world. We live in a land, which is prosperous, democratic and free, it's called the UK. Together we have achieved so much, the world really needed our union in 1940. The UK needs Scotland, just as Scotland needs the UK. We are all family, so closely related that everyone feels these ties. Why would a Scot want to be made a foreigner, next time he were to visit London, Belfast or Cardiff? Neither would a Londoner want to feel a foreigner if he were to work in Edinburgh. The ties of kinship and common history are what makes Britain work so well as a currency union, a fiscal union and a political union. If we break these ties, do not expect anything to work quite as well again in our lifetimes.