East Ham MP Stephen Timms says Scotland is an integral part of the UK


- Credit: Archant

Next month the people of Scotland will vote on independence. It is a momentous decision affecting the whole of the UK. We don’t have a vote in England. I shall, though, be visiting Scotland in a couple of weeks, before the referendum, to support the Better Together campaign and urge a “no” vote to independence.

Over 300 years ago, England and Scotland joined together. The result has been one of the world’s longest lasting and strongest political and economic unions. But now it could end. It would have a profound effect on all of us. We would suddenly find ourselves in a different country from the one we are used to.

The histories of England and Scotland are inextricably entwined. The Union benefits people on both sides of the border in many different ways. People in Newham have chosen a Scottish mayor in the last four elections! The country we live in will be a weaker one if Scotland separates from us.

Of course, the Scottish people have the right to make their decision. But I believe we will all – Scotland and the rest of Great Britain – be better off if they choose to stay.

Major businesses north of the border have said on independence they would move jobs out of Scotland. As Alistair Darling pointed out, powerfully, in his first televised debate with Alex Salmond, nobody knows which currency an independent Scotland would use.

Nobody knows when it could join the European Union, or what the terms for membership might be.

If you have friends or family in Scotland, they have an important decision to make. Please encourage them to vote for us to stay together!

I hope they will make the choice which is right for them and us, and stay as an integral part of the United Kingdom. More from Stephen Timms