“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 rendition, protect 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.’
I’m at @DAlexanderMP‘s #AyeWrite talk tonight on UK Foreign Policy. Here’s why I think Scotland can do better: http://t.co/Sq7Gqy63bV
— Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow) April 7, 2014