Comment: at the heart of the United Kingdom

Jackson Carlaw MSP Convener fo the Forth Crossing Bill Committee. Pic - Andrew Cowan / Scottish Parliament
Jackson Carlaw MSP Convener fo the Forth Crossing Bill Committee. Pic - Andrew Cowan / Scottish Parliament

As I write I realise many of you, like me have already voted.

I wonder if for those who like me, have cast our ballot, you appreciated the enormity of it all? I suddenly understood that this was not like any other vote I have cast.

I was not choosing a government that could one day be ejected.

Nor was I voting to try something new which if it didn’t work out I could change back again.

So why vote for the United Kingdom?

When I go about the world and see the Union flag, I see at its heart the blue of the St 
Andrews Saltire; Scotland at the heart of the United Kingdom.

I think about all we have built together, all we have stood together for and stood together against, all we have invented, developed and created together.

I see all that history but I don’t think of it as just a legacy which will endure, I see it as a promise of what we can yet do and achieve together as well.

I acknowledge the passion of those who campaign for independence.

For them the ends justify any sacrifice. And it’s the ‘any sacrifice’ bit that I just can’t accept.

Throughout this campaign it has become clear that there are no real answers from them to the big questions any of us contemplating a new nation should be asking.

What will currency be? Why should we expect jump the European entry queue?

For heaven’s sake, when any of gets on a bus we do so knowing where it’s going.

This independence bus has no destination, its windows are blacked out and the driver is blindfold.

Wishful thinking is not a policy or a basis on which to tear up the secure foundations of the Union.

And it is all so unnecessary.

We have seen our Scottish Parliament prove its worth and we are ready for it to assume more responsibility for things that it makes sense to sort out in Scotland.

But we can do this while still sharing the security of the hugely successful partnership of some 65 million.

We don’t need new borders and barriers to opportunity.

After all, we live at the geographical edge of Europe but share, physically, the island on which our nation sits.

Scotland is my home. I’m staying here.

I will work for the best future for Scotland.

I just believe not just with my heart, but on the basis of the evidence, cold and hard as that sometimes must sound, that our best future rests within the United Kingdom.

For those of you voting on September 18th – vote No and do so with real pride that you are voting for Scotland’s best future.