The biggest question currently facing us here in the Borders - along with the rest of Scotland - is the issue of the forthcoming independence referendum.
It continues to feature prominently in the news with major interventions in the past couple of weeks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on currency in Edinburgh, the UK Cabinet focussing on energy in Aberdeen, and Standard Life’s making a clear statement last week about its contingency planning to serve its customers south of the border.
I want to ensure that local people have all the information they need in advance of the vote, and that is why I have launched my own series of ‘Road to the Referendum’ meetings. These old fashioned open public meetings will see me travelling throughout the Borders to provide constituents with an opportunity to get their questions on independence answered. The dates and venues of the meetings, which all start at 7pm, can be found on the homepage of my website - http://www.michaelmoore.org.uk/
Last Thursday we had the first of these public meetings at the Parish Church Hall in Duns. It was lively with far-ranging discussion and engagement across topics that included the currency question, the European Union and Scotland’s place in the world. As well as the ‘issues of the head’ we considered the theme of identity and other ‘issues of the heart’.
One argument I made several times was that regardless of the result of the referendum, more powers for Scotland are the most likely outcome. I want to see more democratic control in Scotland, which is what the Liberal Democrat Home Rule Commission proposed in its recent report.
I hope to meet and discuss the referendum with as many people as possible across Berwickshire and the Borders over the next six months, so I do hope you can join me at an upcoming event. Also, if you would like to read more about my perspective on the referendum, please see my new ‘Road to the Referendum’ blog that I will be updating as the debate follows - http://mooremichaelk.wordpress.com/
We have a big choice coming up in September – whether to go it alone or remain as part of the most successful family of nations the world has ever known. Like many people I am proud to be Scottish, proud to be British, and I hope together we can keep this family of nations together.