OPINION: Forman & Son MD Lance Forman asks who should vote in the second Scottish referendum

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 March 2017

Lance Forman, managing director of Forman's Fish Island

Lance Forman, managing director of Forman's Fish Island


I am a firm believer in democracy and also believe that referenda can be useful tools to poll the entire nation on major constitutional issues.

However, this only makes sense when a referendum takes place once in a generation. For Nicola Sturgeon to call for a second referendum on Scottish independence so soon after the first is preposterous. If the vote goes her way, should there be yet another referendum four years down the line in case opinion swings back in favour of a United Kingdom? Scottish people were advised beforehand that their vote was a once in a generation opportunity.

Now, unlike those Remainers, such as Gina Miller whose clarion call for parliamentary process was a mask to frustrate Brexit, my view that a further Scottish referendum should be withheld is not because I fear the break-up of the UK. Indeed, as a keen Brexiter, I believe that it would be wholly inconsistent to push for British self-determination from the EU and then argue that the Scots should not be allowed to determine their own affairs. However, if this were to happen, the Scots should be forced to have their own Scottish currency, which would allow their economy to reflect the productivity and resourcefulness of their own nation. Scotland currently receives huge subsidy from wealth creating London. Without that support, the Scots would have to be creative and determined to make a success of their independence and perhaps the threat of sinking or opportunity to swim would be sufficient incentive to make a success of this new enterprise.

The one question I have is whether England, and indeed Wales and Northern Ireland, should also have a say in a future referendum about Scotland.

Unlike the EU, or formerly EEC, which we have only been a member of for 44 years and indeed most of the rules and regulations have only come about since the Maastricht Treaty 25 years, or one generation ago, our union with Scotland was formed in 1707, over 300 years ago. In addition, there are 28 members of the EU, so if one country leaves, it should not necessarily impact the others.

The UK essentially has four members, so if one leaves the impact is far more significant. Therefore, perhaps it is right that a future referendum on the break-up of Scotland should include taking on board voters in England too. More from Lance

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