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Agenda: An alternative option to constitutional debate

It is amazing how the appearance of Ukip on the Scottish political scene has galvanised reaction.

That reaction has verged at times on the feral, with baying mobs of subsidised students venting their anger, to the unusual sight of George Galloway trenchantly defending the right of Ukip, and particularly myself, to visit Scotland and promote a view of a vibrant Scotland within a federal independent Britain.

Aberdeen is as much a part of my country as Axminster, Aberystwyth or Antrim. The chanting louts who recently attacked me in Edinburgh showed a side to the Scottish Nationalist debate that reflected no glory. I am greatly looking forward to visiting Donside today.

It was notable that when David Cameron visited Scotland recently he did not bother with Aberdeen. It seems that, to him, the Tories are finished north of the Border.

What is key to our point is that at present Westminster makes just 5% of Scotland's laws. A tiny proportion in comparison to the impact of the unelected eurocrats in Brussels who table 83%.

Yet Mr Salmond boasts that a Yes vote for independence is a vote to stay in the EU. Heck, Eck, in what sense is that "independence"? How does that reflect or respect Scotland's democratic spirit?

While there are a range of issues that provide Ukip with a distinct voice, such as energy where Scotland is paying through the nose to subsidise wind farms to the tune of more than £1 million per job, it is the constitutional question that gives us our unique and valuable position in Scotland.

There are four possible positions to take. One can either leave the Union and stay in the EU – a lacklustre position displaying utter lack of confidence in Scotland exemplified by the SNP. One can leave the Union and leave the EU, taking the Norwegian or Icelandic option, logical if you believe in independence but I believe damaging to Scotland's interests. One could take the Better Together position which is to stay in the EU and the Union, the status quo option that fails to take into account the problems the EU has brought to the UK and Scotland in particular. The other option, the one that Ukip represents and one we believe is shared by a significant proportion of the Scottish electorate, is to stay in the Union but leave the EU.

The EU says a separated Scotland must use the euro. Where is the sense in that? Or in uncosted, irresponsible separation? Who will pay Scotland's welfare bill as it heads for £20 billion? Or meet its share of our bloated debt?

Britain's grave cash crisis is Scotland's too. Separation is a dangerous distraction. For Ukip, unlike the SNP, a bankrupt, starving Scotland is not an option.

The EU has cost Aberdeen dear. The fish have gone. Ukip will make our fishing waters ours once more.

The immigration Ukip would sensibly control – much of it from the EU – matters no less to Scotland than to England. Donside's voters tell us that.

There are two Aberdeens: the well-to-do and the rest. Only Ukip represents both: business-friendly and determined to repair squalid council estates.

The auld alliance means a great deal to Scotland. But Europe is one thing, the EU another. Ukip is at ease with Europe, at odds with Brussels. Europe invented democracy. Brussels is anti-democratic. Anti-democratic is anti-European.

Donsiders have welcomed our candidate, Otto Inglis, our workmanlike, common-sense approach and our vision of hope for the Scotland we love. Very few will vote to cut themselves adrift. Many tell us they see Ukip as the Union's strongest defender.

Macaulay's History says Scotland is "united to England not merely by legal bonds but by indissoluble ties of interest and affection". Our Union is an affair not only of the head but also of the heart.

Nigel Farage is the leader of Ukip and MEP for the South East.

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