Sunday, 14 September 2014

Why I'm voting YES for Scottish independence

The Scottish Independence referendum will take place next week, and it is a hot debate both in Scotland and in the UK right now. Polls are suggesting a very close result, and regardless of the outcome there will be significant changes in the next few years for our countries. On the 18th of September, I will be voting yes for a variety of reasons. 


I want to decide our own Government –
  • This is the biggest reason why many people want to cross “Yes” on their ballot paper. Although we get full say in our Scottish elections, I feel as if we don’t get an opinion in the UK General elections. Scotland did not vote for a Conservative government in the UK – in fact, the Tories came fourth in Scotland in the 2010 General election. Our small population means than I and many other people don’t feel like our vote counts. An independent Scotland would increase interest in politics and turnout at elections as we would feel like our say actually matters and will not be overpowered.
I don’t want nuclear weapons –
  • Only eight countries in the world have detonated nuclear weapons, including the United Kingdom. In this day and age I don’t believe that it is necessary to have immoral weapons of such mass-destruction in our country. With independence, the UK’s largest Trident base would be re-located and would no longer be in Scotland. This would save us £250 million per year whilst being completely free of nuclear weapons.
We can afford it –
  • One of the biggest arguments for the Better Together campaign is that one of Scotland’s biggest sources of revenue is our gas and oil which will run out within the next few decades. However, we still have approximately £1500 billion of oil and gas left, which is enough to clear our national debt ten times over. Even without the oil, Scotland has multi-billion pound industries, including our construction, business services and chemical industries, as well as 25% of Europe’s wind and tidal energy potential. The Financial Times has stated that “an independent Scotland would be richer than the rest of the UK and in the top 20 countries globally”, so worrying about affording being an independent nation should not be a reason for voting no.
I believe we should stay with the EU –
  • Unlike many people, I am a fan of the EU and believe that its benefits outweigh the negatives. If the Tories stay in power after the 2015 General election, they plan on a UK referendum to decide if we will stay a member of the EU, and the current consensus is that we would vote to leave. The SNP have stated that they wish to stay part of the EU, and this is a less frightening scenario for me than if we were to leave.
A vote for Yes is not a vote for Alex Salmond –
  • I am voting Yes because I believe that it is the correct decision for my country, not because I believe that Alex Salmond is the right person to lead us forever. Countless people have said that they are voting No because they dislike Salmond or the SNP, but I haven’t even taken this into account as regardless of the result, the leader of our country will change within the next few years and is irrelevant when considering the whole picture.
These are just a few of the reasons why I will be voting yes, but as I said before there will be major changes for Scotland regardless of the outcome of this referendum, and I have absolutely no idea which way the vote will swing. Let me know what you think in the comments whether you’re Scottish or not!

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