10 reasons why internationalists should support Scottish independence


“If we artificially confine our interest or responsibility to our small corner, we will think small thoughts and do small things.” – Margo MacDonald

Rather than being a process of looking inward, I believe that independence is an opportunity for Scotland to join the global community. There are many reasons why a Yes vote in September’s referendum is a step towards a better world:

1) An independent Scotland will disarm Trident nuclear weapons. This is a move towards global disarmament and a more peaceful world.

2) An independent Scotland will follow United Nations mandates in issues of peace and war. This means that Scotland will always act alongside International Law.

3) An independent Scotland will support international institutions like the European Union and the British and Irish Council. This means that Scotland will look outwards and cooperate with its neighbours.

4) An independent Scotland will promote a positive migration system which encourages those with a desire to live and work in Scotland to move here. This will benefit Scotland’s economy and society.

5) An independent Scotland will create an asylum system which provides care, security and the right to work. The recent Scottish Refugee Council Annual General Meeting found a majority in favour of independence because of this progressive approach.

6) An independent Scotland will meet its international aid obligations through development funds to the world’s poorest nations.

7) Scotland is already playing a leading role in the fight against climate change. Through world leading emissions targets and the growth in renewable technology, Scotland is making a difference. With the full powers of independence Scotland can do even more.

8) An independent Scotland can use its membership of the international community to support human rights across the world.

9) An independent Scotland can oppose the spread of the arms trade by opposing the sale of munitions and weapons technology to abusive states.

10) An independent Scotland can act as an example of the right to self-determination through a process of democratic and peaceful change.

In contrast, Westminster remains determined to keep nuclear missiles, wage wars like Iraq without a United Nations mandate, cover-up its involvement in torture and renditionprotect military officials accused of war crimes, pull away from the EU, tighten immigration control, enforce harsh anti-asylum laws, reduce support for green investment, sell arms and weapons to dictatorships, use domestic and international surveillance to remove civil liberties, and threaten journalists.

When you cast your vote in September: ‘Do not only ask what independence can do for Scotland, ask what an independent Scotland can do for the world.’

Michael Gray
National Collective


About Michael Gray

Michael studies politics at the University of Glasgow. He admires creativity, optimism and education. He desires peace, social justice and good parties.

There are 10 comments

  1. Chuck Jones

    1. An independent Scotland will move nuclear weapons away, it will not get rid of them. I want to see a nuclear free world, being an internationalist. The United Kingdom has massive diplomatic powers and it is much more possible to do this as part of the UK. An independent Scotland would have next to no say in the world.
    2. How do you know what an independent Scotland will do? We would be part of NATO and would be one of the weaker members, so we’d actually be more subceptible to U.S. persuasion. Denmark was in the Iraq war, France was not. Also, an independent Scotland not going to war would not make a difference. When the UK chooses to do something, it makes a difference. When the UK chooses NOT to go to war in Syria, it means there isn’t a global U.S/U.K vs Syria/Russia war
    3. The U.K. already does that…
    4. Again, you don’t know what an independent Scotland would do!!!
    5. See above
    6. Maybe. Will it, like the UK, have the world’s second largest aid budget>
    7. So is the U.K. Again being part of the U.K. means we can push these issues on the international stage. Also, an independent Scotland would be 20% reliant on oil, whereas the U.K. is only 1% reliant. Is burning oil good for climate change?
    8 and 9 I’ve already dealt with above – again, you assume the U.K. does not already do such AND you are also assuming you know how an independent Scotland will act.
    The final one was more interesting.

      1. Chuck Jones

        Do you deny that Britain is one of the ‘big three’ of the EU, the closest ally of the US or that a at on the UN security council

        1. Derick Tulloch

          Size isn’t everything in the EU. The UK has repeatedly failed to get support from other members due to its excessively confrontational approach. But we await Cameron’s re-negotiation attempt with amusement.
          Ally of the US, or poodle? Why is the UK a terrorist target?
          Ditto Security Council.

          1. Chuck Jones

            Read this – http://carnegieeurope.eu/2012/07/05/big-three-in-eu-foreign-policy/ckvl
            when I said ‘big three’ I thought you watched the news and were aware at thow things were conducted and weren’t silly enough to think I meant geographical size, otherwise Romania and Sweden would be massive power players when they really aren’t.
            We have a big say in what the U.S. does, more than any other member of NATO. Again, the U.S. did not intervene military in Syria because they knew they did not have British support. I mean seriously, can you think of another country in the West with more diplomatic clout than Britain, other than the United States?
            The terrorists attack us because we are part of the west… that’s why there were also attacks in Spain…
            ‘Ditto Security’ Council’…. explain what you mean by this please? We are part of the security council because we were one of the first countries in the world to develop Nuclear Weapons…

          2. Derick Tulloch

            Terrorists (in no way a loaded term) attack the ‘West’. Mmmhmm. I see.

            Sorry, but to imagine that the UK has a ‘big say’ in the decisions of the US seems actually deluded. They invaded Grenada and had not the courtesy even to let the UK know first.

            We’ remain part of the Security Council because that suits the US, end of.
            Is it to ‘our’ advantage? How? How have we benefited from this membership?

          3. Chuck Jones

            It depends what you mean by ‘benefited’. I said we have massive diplomatic powers and you disagreed with that. I gave the example of being one of only five members of the permanent Security Council, giving us the power to veto any UN resolution. Isn’t that kind of…. a massive diplomatic power? Remember, this is more of an internationalist argument. I CARE about the rest of the world, not just people in my country, which is why I like that as part of the U.K. we can make a difference.
            ‘We’ remain part of the Security Council because that suits the US, end of’. Why would it suit the U.S? They are already in the Security Council so they already have a veto power. They probably didn’t much like the U.K.’s veto power during the suez crisis but we still had it.

            It does have a big say as I have already exemplified. Your example does not negate the existence of mine. It does not have final say, no, but as I said, it has a bigger say than any other country in the West. More than *laughing out loud* an independent Scotland would have.

  2. gotsda .

    I’d make a comment on each point you made, but the comment below put it far more succinctly than I could.
    Clearly an independent Scotland would play a far smaller role in the world, and claims to the opposite are ridiculous yet seem to be everywhere.

    Instead I will be looking at the stabs at Westminster you decided to put at the bottom of your article and see how valid they are…

    “wage wars like Iraq without a United Nations mandate”
    An action taken by another government over a decade ago, and has not been repeated since means that Westminster is determined to do it? Despite it being a disaster, both in the drain on resources and the political ramifications. This is utter nonsense, and can be seen to be nonsense since David Cameron had the commons vote on any possibility of using force in Syria, not because he has to, but because he wanted to an excuse not to if the USA and France went ahead and did take actions. I think you know this, and I think you are appealing to the slightly less politically literate who might befall this article of yours.

    “cover-up its involvement in torture and rendition, protect military officials accused of war crimes,”

    Oh look a link to an article, which is linked to the telegraph, which claims to have been told this by an anonymous source which we can’t look up and verify. What a surprise, I’m not going to trust this on the basis of hear say.

    “pull away from the EU”

    Not all parties are seeking to do so, in fact Labour who are ahead in the polls are pro-euro, the Conservatives are Euro-sceptic. So neither are committed to doing this, although it is possible that the Conservatives could via referendum see the UK leave the EU, which would be “an example of the right to self-determination through a process of democratic and peaceful change” something you lauded just a few lines earlier…

    “tighten immigration control”

    Well yeah, because if you had taken the time to visit England you might realise that rampant immigration has impacted the lives of a lot of people. You might not know this, but if you flood the market with cheap labour wages will go down. This makes working for a living a lot harder, and therefore it can be prudent to tighten immigration. So why are you demonizing this act?

    “enforce harsh anti-asylum laws”

    Sounds like the UK where people flock for asylum…

    “reduce support for green investment”


    Really seems like the UK is reducing investment for green technology, are you sure you are not just making shit up now?

    “domestic and international surveillance to remove civil liberties, and threaten journalists”

    So the UK is cracking down on civil liberties…
    Yet you can write a scathing article about Westminster? I don’t think we live in the Orwellian Dystopia you think we do.

    “sell arms and weapons to dictatorships”

    Yes we do, and if we didn’t someone else would. Furthermore the money we get for this allows us to invest in our own weapon systems more, to protect ourselves. The world is a scary fucking place with scary people in it, and if we didn’t sell our arms you think the Russians or the Americans or the Chinese wouldn’t? Then were is the money going and where are better weapons being developed? If our weapon systems fall behind, then we’re in trouble. But go ahead moralizing, that doesn’t stop the world being a dangerous place.

    “Do not only ask what independence can do for Scotland, ask what an independent Scotland can do for the world.”
    Far less than a Scotland in the UK can do, with its influence on a seat on the security council and it’s access to a nuclear arsenal in pushing forth our will.

    The article was shit.

  3. Tern

    4 – The White Paper says that to get citizenship by descent from a paerent or grandparent you would need to register for it supplying evidence of the descent. Ever since it came out, govt and Yes campaign have utterly refused to any enquiry to say that qualifying applications will be accepted by entitlement and can’t be refused selectively. Emigration, especially to rUK, is even supposed to be a Yes argument. If common travel areas break down, citizenship will affect who can live here. An immigration system that insists on reserving a power to exclude our emigrants’ offspring from their homeland, divides families cruelly and is a new Clearances, a new xenophobic hatefulness of taking Sots country away from them: and this is from the Yes side!

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