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TV discussion: looking forward to the Scottish independence referendum

Transmitted 16 September 2014. Posted 8 December 2014.

On Tuesday 16 September 2014, one day after the large rally in Trafalgar Square in favour of preserving the union and two days before the Scottish referendum, the Islam Channel’s current affairs programme “The Report” discussed the impending referendum with the programme title “Scotland: Battle Between 'Yes' and 'No' Intensifies.”

The presenter was Chris Bambery and the panel participants were:

Unlike many of my other appearances on the Islam Channel, the passage of time and in particular the clear “No” vote in the Scottish independence referendum means that this discussion is now only of archival interest. You can watch it below.

The key points that I made during the discussion were:

  1. Scotland was never forced into the union. Indeed Scottish people played a major role in the running of the British Empire.
  2. I pointed out to the presenter that trying to have a post-mortem over a referendum that hadn’t happened yet struck me as rather premature!
  3. I had no intention of guessing what might happen if the referendum result went the wrong way.
  4. On some issues that Muslim voters regard as particularly significant, the position of the Scottish government may well be quite different from that of the UK government. This may influence how Scottish Muslims vote in the referendum.
  5. I had attended the Trafalgar Square rally the day before. This was indeed the first time in my life I could recall attending a rally and it illustrated how strongly I did not want Scotland to leave the union.
  6. In particular “I do not want Adam Smith to retrospectively become a foreigner.”
  7. If Scotland were to vote “Yes” it would have major implications for Spain but probably less so for Canada where I perceived the Quebec desire for independence to have faded.
  8. An independent Scotland would not be in the EU. It would need to apply and any existing member state could veto that application.
  9. I had been active on Twitter encouraging people to vote “No.”
  10. I expected a high turnout in the referendum as the issue was so important.


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