Scotland’s ‘weak’ independent voice

Borders MP John Lamont points to evidence in the annual ScotCen Social Research report to claim that people think Scotland’s voice in the world would be weaker if it broke away from the UK.

The research found nearly 40 per cent fear a separate Scotland’s global influence would be diminished; 44 per cent said the economy would be worse off – up from 34 per cent last year.

The paper also shows that 32% of Scots think of themselves as ‘equally Scottish and British’ 23% seeing themselves as ‘Scottish Not British’.

Mr Lamont MSP said: “People I speak to in the Borders are rightly concerned at the prospect of our global reach being diminished. And many speak to me about their fears of the economic impact of separation, especially on what currency people would have in their pockets. This is a key issue for Borderers.

“This research also shows that the percentage of Scots who consider themselves equally Scottish and British is at a record high”

The ScotCen Social Research report says: “It would appear that opinion has swung towards independence during the course of the long campaign. Back in 2012 just 23% backed independence; now as many as 33% do so. The latest figure of 33% is not the highest it has ever been; it was 35% back in 2005. Our most recent reading is also only one point above the figure recorded immediately after the SNP won its now famous victory in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

“Rather than having clearly served to increase support for independence to unprecedented heights, the referendum campaign simply seems to have ensured that it currently stands towards the top end of the range of from a quarter and a third or so within which it has oscillated since 1999.”