Alex Salmond and David Cameron

With Scotland due to hold a referendum to decide if they will remain part of the UK, I’m left wondering why the rest of us in the union don’t get a say. After all, it’s not just Scotland’s future which is being decided, but the future of the UK as we know it.

I personally hold the view that we’re stronger together than we would be alone, but polls suggest that most people in England would vote in favour of Scottish independence. And presumably, that’s exactly what Alex Salmond wants; why else would he want 16 and 17 year-olds, amongst whom support for independence is greater, to vote in the referendum?

There is, of course, the argument that it’s Scotland’s future which will be decided by the referendum, so only Scots should have a say. But that’s something I disagree with. Yes, Scots will have to live with their decision, but so will the rest of the UK. Everybody in the union will be affected, everybody pays taxes, so we should all have a say in the potential breakup of our union.

On the other hand, if all of the UK voted in a referendum, the views of Scots wouldn’t be heard. What if Scots wanted to leave the union, but the majority of the UK voted for them to stay? We’d be forcing them to remain part of a union they don’t want to be in. And what about the consequences for all of the citizens involved? Would trade be adversely affected? Would Scotland change its currency? Would we need a passport to enter Scotland? Clearly lots of questions need answering and people will need to be better informed before any referendum takes place.

Whatever the outcome, I believe we all need to have a say, but I do hope Scotland remains part of the UK.

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