Scotland’s vote: make your mind up time

Secondary pupils may have a chance to have their say on the independence referendum.
Secondary pupils may have a chance to have their say on the independence referendum.

The announcement of the date for the referendum on Scotland’s future has been met with a mixed response from East Renfrewshire politicians.

A vote on the country’s independence will take place on September 18 next year.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell believes the referendum will be a “historic moment for the country”.

He said: “Regardless of which side of the debate you stand on, this is a historic moment for the country.

“The debate leading up to the referendum will give everyone the opportunity to put forward their vision for Scotland and to articulate what kind of country they want to live in.

“I will continue to campaign for a yes vote because I believe the decisions that affect Scotland should be made by the people that live and work in Scotland.

“I am aware that many constituents in East Renfrewshire are still undecided on how they will vote but I would urge everyone to engage in the debate, to make your views known and help to shape Scotland’s future in a positive way.”

Eastwood MSP Ken McIntonsh says the decision has left him with “conflicting emotions”.

The Labour man told The Extra: “We will have to endure another year and a half with little or no progress on the issues that really matter to most Scots: the cost of living, unemployment and a faltering economy.

“So far virtually every proposal the SNP has put forward for independence has fallen apart under scrutiny.

“I want all Scots to control the decisions that affect our lives but we can do that best through the Scottish Parliament and by working within the United Kingdom.

“That’s how we invested in our schools here in East Renfrewshire, that’s how we enabled more Scots to go to university, that’s how we delivered the smoking ban.”

West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw is relieved at the announcement.

The Conservative politician said: “The big tease is over and now we know the date Scotland is going to make its great decision.

“But you can’t strip the emotion out of this debate. For many people who want Scotland to be independent, that is an emotional response.

“For the many that want to stay a part of the UK, that too is an emotional response.

“For me, I’m happy being a Glaswegian, a Scot and also happy to be British. I think for many people that will actually be a very important part in the decision they reach.”