Michael Moore MP’s Road to the Referendum… A Vote for the United Kingdom: A positive Choice

IMG_2186Making a positive choice for the United Kingdom in the vote on Scotland’s future is as much a matter of the heart as well as the head.  Recently, those involved in the argument for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom have begun to argue more assertively that a vote for the UK is the positive choice.

We have just over five months to decide whether we stay in the United Kingdom family or go it alone. Five months to choose between remaining part of this four-nation partnership that we have built together or to break away and to start again.

I believe in the contribution Scotland has made over the last 300 years along with our friends and families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – our common effort to create and share something bigger and that serves us all well.

Our economy comprises four and a half million companies rather than 320,000.  We have a market with no boundaries, no borders, and no customs.  We also have the stability of the pound that is respected and envied across the world.

Together, we constructed a National Health Service to combat ill health across the UK.  We also built the BBC that stands for excellence in broadcasting at home and around the world.  And, as a united country, we have the financial clout to reshape our energy system to meet the challenges of climate change and the fact that fossil fuels will run out.

In the Borders, we know better than most about the importance of being able to cross into England without barriers.  The complete freedom of movement that we enjoy provides immediate opportunities for young people to have careers that span the whole of the UK. That’s why more than 830,000 Scots are now living and working elsewhere in the UK, and why 450,000 of those who are happy to live and work here in Scotland were born elsewhere in the UK.

Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, told the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference – “Forget hearts and minds, this referendum is about capturing imaginations”.  In 2014, all people who believe in the United Kingdom must make the strong positive case for the UK and to make it loudly and proudly.

I am working with others to provide a positive vision for a prosperous future for every part of the UK.  As a Borderer, a Scot, and someone who is proud to be British, I appeal to all voters to get the facts and consider what is best for our future.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Tony Greaves 31st Mar '14 - 4:30pm

    This is still mainly looking backwards, or hinting that a Yes vote could results in changes to things that simply are not going to change (eg complete freedom of movement or a market with no borders and no customs).

    Where is the positive Liberal Democrat vision of how things could change and improve following a No victory? Perhaps more importantly where are the signs that the rest of the Yes Together campaign even understands the need for such a vision?


  • Now is the time for the Party in Scotland to start laying out it’s goals after the YES vote. To not do so will leave it Obsolete.

  • David Allen 31st Mar '14 - 7:00pm

    Reasonable effort by Moore. However it’s hard to be visionary and positive when you are defending the status quo. Too much “vision” about how much things will change and improve if Scotland votes for the status quo just risks accusations of “bullsh*t” and “well, why didn’t you beggars make all these changes previously, then?”

    It might be more productive to point out that the Yes campaign is, in fact, the negative one – and that Salmond’s endless optimism is designed to hide that fact.

    What’s positive about campaigning for a Disunited Kingdom? What’s positive about pulling Scotland away from its neighbours in Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England, after three centuries of shared history? What’s friendly and positive about a break-up? What’s good about changing from a UK currency into a “sterling zone”, which like the Eurozone will bring the pain and misery of artificially matched exchange rates to both Scotland and RUK alike? What’s good about being two small nations, instead of one larger one? When the heady optimism has faded, what’s good about needing to fund a whole new bureaucracy in Edinburgh? What’s good about endless separation negotiations, when both Scotland and RUK have a lot more pressing problems they should be concentrating on? What’s good about a campaign built on one man’s ego?

  • Malcolm Todd 31st Mar '14 - 9:06pm

    “Forget hearts and minds, this referendum is about capturing imaginations”

    Really? Clegg said that? Is this proof that even he isn’t listening to himself any more?

  • Laurence Scott-Macka 1st Apr '14 - 6:09am

    To David I would add:

    What’s good about getting rid of the house of lords and having PR – I will tell you – For the first time in my life I will live in a democracy – I will no longer be a serf.
    I will no longer have to listen to Michael Forsyth bang on about how dirty gay people are yet I can not remove him from office – What David do you suggest I do to stop having MF rule my life. Oh and all three parties offered reform of the house of lords but no one in England gives a monkeys they like their class ridden society with their beloved Majesty at the top. So I say us serfs have to vote YES. I vote for Michael Moor to write new constitution.

  • @Lawrence Scott-Macka

    “no one in England gives a monkeys they like their class ridden society with their beloved Majesty at the top”

    Since when did it become OK for Nats to insult English society and yet if somehow if it happens the other way round, that’s “English arrogance”?

    By the way, in an independent Scotland you’ll still have the Queen and the rest of the royal family. All as part of Salmond’s project “No Fear”.

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