As you may have seen from reports in the National & elsewhere, with the brilliant help of YES2, we proud to announce the official relaunch of English Scots for YES.
Over the coming weeks & months we hope to massively expand our wee group into a campaigning behemoth. Our aim is to reach out to all 700,000+ English Scots across Scotland, and have the conversation with them about why think they should support Scottish independence.
Since the dark days of September 2014, when we felt for a while that all hope was lost, a LOT has changed. There was an election that few if any saw the SNP winning, and win they did, with 56 out of Scotland’s 59 MPs being returned as independence-supporting SNP MPs. There was the continuation and growth of groups like Women for Independence, YES2 and others. A resurgence of interest in our political culture here in Scotland. The people of Scotland may have voted against independence in 2014, but the genie is well and truly out of the bottle, and try as they might, Westminster will not be able to put the stopper back in.
As a group, English Scots for YES never truly went away; our core members continued to plan and discuss, and many of you will have seen our intrepid bunch at “YES rallies” over the last two years, handing out ever increasing amounts of free tea & cakes! But it is fair to say our campaign was a little muted, and not the fully-fledged operation we had prior to the first referendum. We had planned to change this and relaunch our campaign proper last summer, along with the SNP”s proposed drive for independence….events, however, somewhat overtook us.
The EU referendum, and resulting “brexit” decision was a bitter pill for many of us to swallow.
Many (though not all) of our members were in favour of continued EU membership. The group itself took no view on this, but it’s clear to say that Scotland voted differently to our friends and family back in England. The reaction of the tory government in London however, was as shocking as it was completely unsurprising. Just 18 months after being told that Scotland was an “equal member” of the Union, suddenly, Scotland’s voice is being completely ignored on the EU. 62% of Scots from all walks of life, from all backgrounds and creeds decided that we should remain in the EU, remain a member of the single-market, and continue to enjoy the protections of the European Court of Human Rights.
Sadly, London seems set to ignore this completely, and drag Scotland out of Europe, no matter the cost. And we fear that cost will be high.
It is not an easy thing for us to look across the border at our friends and family in England, as they too face the economic uncertainties and political instabilities of the right-wing’s obsession with immigration & exiting the EU. But ultimately, whilst we shall always hold England dear in our hearts, we are English-Scots – we have made Scotland our home, and it is to Scotland’s future we must look. For these reasons, and many others that are still unchanged from 2014, we must throw our weight and support behind the call for a second referendum and tell the people of Scotland to vote YES. Again.