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Referendum vote is for those who live in this country

JACK Irvine laments that his children will not have a vote in the independence referendum because they no longer live in Scotland (Letters, December 18).

My answer is, so what?

Mr Irvine points out that they can vote in European Parliament elections. Quite true, but those are Europe-wide polls. If his children have moved to London then they vote in the London regional constituency. Indeed, if they move to another EU country then under EU law they vote in that country in elections to the European Parliament. The Scottish independence referendum, on the other hand, is a Scotland-only vote and hence, just like Scottish Parliament elections is for those living in Scotland.

The argument that Scots outside of Scotland should vote amounts to an attempt to stack the deck against independence. If the vote is to be on nationality rather than residence, however, not only do we open the door to the toxic doctrine of exclusive nationalism but we also end up in a situation where non-Scots living in Scotland should not be allowed to vote.

Do we want to say that those of our English neighbours that have chosen to move to Scotland should not be allowed to vote in the referendum? Even worse, do we want to tell them effectively that an independent Scotland is not a place that will welcome them?

I certainly hope not.

Iain Paterson,

2F Killermont View,


Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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