Holyrood notes: Biggest political decision we will ever make

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In just under a week, everyone in Berwickshire, like the rest of Scotland, faces the biggest political decision we will ever have to take.

It is an important decision. Unlike a general election, we cannot change our mind in a few years’ time.

I want what’s best for Scotland. I want more jobs, better childcare, greater opportunities for all and the protection of public services. And the evidence is clear, the best way to achieve all this is by staying in the United Kingdom.

Independent expert after independent expert has come out to say that separation will result in spending cuts to public services, far greater than anything implemented by the current UK Government.

In order to fill this black hole, a Yes vote will result in painful spending cuts, on top of the difficult decisions already being made by the UK Government.

It is clear that if you want to protect public spending on schools, on the NHS, on pensions, you need to vote No.

The Yes campaign is promising that separation is the answer to a fairer society and will allow us to spend more on public services. This is quite simply untrue; they are saying anything to get Scots to vote Yes.

And it is just common sense that sharing the costs of public services over a country of 63 million people is better and more stable than spreading this cost between 5 million Scots.

But a No vote isn’t just about keeping the status quo. It’s about reaffirming our desire to stay within the UK family with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, then embarking on the process of strengthening that.

By committing to further powers, as every party has done, it presents a tremendous opportunity to strengthen devolution, without losing our British identity and taking the absurd risks which the SNP is asking us to.

But it’s not only the practical arguments which people care about.

When I’ve been out campaigning across the Borders, there is a feeling of real sadness that the UK could be split up.

People don’t want a border put up a few miles down the road, between our own families, between where many people in Berwickshire live and where many work.

We are loath to abandon a history which has seen us fight in two world wars, become one of the most respected nations and build the most successful social and economic union in the world.

And in the present, the UK Government is very much working for Scotland. Thousands have been lifted out of income tax altogether, while the economic approach of the Coalition has seen unemployment continually fall and growth return.

The case for separation has not been made, these risks are simply not worth taking and Scotland can and should enjoy the best of both worlds: a strengthened Scottish Parliament, within a strong and stable world power, the United Kingdom.