Sunday, 3 November 2013

Is Scotland a Country? Can you be Scottish? Will we British if we vote YES? Why can Scots ex-pats not vote in the referendum?

Is Scotland a Country?

The Collins English Dictionary gives two slightly different definitions.

  1.  A country is a territory distinguished by its people, culture, geography, etc.
  2. A country is an area of land distinguished by its political autonomy.

By the first definition Scotland is currently a country. It is also definitely historically a country.

By the second definition, under current devolution it could possibly be described as a country, but definitely not between the abolition of the Scottish Parliament in 1707 and the advent of the second in 1999.

And officially Scotland is not a country as we are not currently a sovereign nation, and are not members or even represented in the United Nations as Scotland.

Only by voting YES in the impending Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 can we be assured that all definitions apply.

Can you be Scottish?

Most Scots consider themselves more Scottish than British. Currently this does not officially make sense and is not based on fact.

On the passport of a person coming from Scotland presently there is no mention of Scotland as it is not officially a country, and therefore being a Scot is not officially a nationality.

Officially all Scots are British as are their English, Welsh and Northern Irish brothers and sisters. 

Officially Scots are also considered European as if they have a passport all are European Union passports.

But you cannot officially be a Scot or a Scottish person as no such sovereign nation exists. Only by voting YES in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum is it possible to change this.

If enough of Scots vote YES then we can truly be official Scots once again.

If we vote YES will we still be British?

The simple answer is Yes!

England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands plus other islands are all part of the British Isles. 

England, Wales and Scotland are all on an island called Britain. Becoming an independent country will not mean there is suddenly a watery gap at the border, so we shall still be on the island of Britain or Great Britain meaning we will still be British.

For more information see this video which is very good at an explanation...

 or through using this link The Difference between the UK, Great Britain and England.

Why are ex-pat Scots not permitted to vote in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum?

Many people who consider themselves Scots are resident in other countries. Is it not unfair they cannot vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum?

There are several reason why this is not possible.

There is currently no such official nationality as Scottish. If Scotland was currently a nation state like all the other nation states within the world then Scots would have their own passports and therefore could be considered ex-pats of Scotland. Scots currently resident in countries outside the borders of the UK could only be considered as ex-pat Brits and as stated above it is not the Westminster Government who has called this referendum but the Scottish one who has only powers within the boundaries of Scotland. 

The Scottish Government called the Referendum on Scottish Independence. It only has jurisdiction or powers within the borders of Scotland operating within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It does not have powers to hold the referendum out-with these boundaries. If Scots in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are also to be allowed to vote then this would require to be decided by either the Westminster Parliament (or their devolved Assemblies if this power is presently devolved to them).

Not being able to vote in the impending Scottish Independence Referendum for those who consider themselves Scottish ex-pats must be irritating whether they are potential YES or NO voters. However I would have thought it is particularly galling for those who want to vote NO. It is a paradox that in order for them to vote NO Scotland would have to be sovereign nation all ready, which is the thing they want to stop happening. Life is strange!

Being independent means putting Scotland's future into Scotland's hands. It doesn't change how you describe yourself.