By JOSEPHINE OBOH-MACLEOD
In 2014, the Scottish electorate turned out in record-breaking numbers to have their say on whether or not Scotland should remain as part of the United Kingdom.
After a passionate and fiercely fought campaign, over 2 million voters, 55% of the voting population, decided they thought Scotland’s future was better in the United Kingdom.
However, as is typical with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, the Scottish electorate has been entirely ignored and treated with total contempt as the Scottish Government attempts to force a second referendum on separation.
Many times Nicola Sturgeon wants to ask the Scottish people the same question, the arguments for remaining part of the United Kingdom are as important, relevant and convincing as ever.
In my opinion, there are multiple reasons why Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom, one of which comes from the point of view of our shared culture and history.
Scotland has been a member of the United Kingdom for over 300 years, before the invention of the telephone, before electricity was discovered, and before the United States of America was founded.
And our shared history stretches far further than the Act of Union; Scotland, England and Wales have shared this landmass for thousands of years, our deep-rooted historical link is unparalleled across the world.
This shared cultural heritage (which would be at risk if the SNP got their way) not only enriches our past, but adds to the incredible diversity of our entire country.
According to the official census, Scotland’s ethnic make up is 96% white, with BAME groups making up just 4% of our population; comparing this to the United Kingdom as a whole, BAME groups make up 14% of the population.
If Scotland were to separate itself from the United Kingdom, we would be separating ourselves from a greatly diverse nation and closing the door to the potential of greater ethnic diversity our Union can provide us with. This is the key to a better Scotland, not division.
There are of course significant economic benefits to remaining a part of the United Kingdom, not just for Scottish business, but for Scottish people as well. Being part of the United Kingdom provides Scotland with strength in numbers through a highly skilled and highly diverse workforce, particularly for our National Health Service.
Government figures show that almost a quarter of NHS workers are from BAME backgrounds, and of these BAME workers, more of them are medical staff than non-medical staff, this is particularly true of junior doctors.
When we consider this alongside Scotland’s lower BAME figures, we can see that the NHS will face a real staffing crisis if we were to close the border and separate from our union.
Moreover, Scotland’s closest trading partners are England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 60% of our exports going to the United Kingdom.
If Scotland were to separate from the United Kingdom, we would be choosing to close the door to a prosperous free trading Scotland and forcing Scottish businesses to trade in an economy of 6 million customers, rather than 60 million customers.
Nationalism is not about division. In my opinion, a true nationalist is someone who cares about one’s nation and is willing to tolerate each other’s weaknesses and endeavour to work together for the mutual benefit of all four nations in the United Kingdom.
The differences between the four nations of the United Kingdom are what makes our country so unique and dynamic in comparison to other western countries, which can be taken advantage of, advancing our economic strength.
Old grudges need to be set aside so that focus and emphasis can be placed on positively rebuilding the United Kingdom in a post-covid, globalist world.
It’s time that we look beyond the Brave Heart movie and face the reality of today to benefit our generations to come, bearing in mind that the world is now a global village — It’s high time that we buried the hatchet.
Oboh-Macleod, wrote in from Scotland, United Kingdom, Scottish