Yet more childish scaremongering from our Unionist friends. This time it is Theresa May, Home Secretary at Westminster, who has opined that if Scotland becomes independent, then we will lose our British passports. I have news for Theresa, so will the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Her assertions are typical of the ignorance that surrounds the whole debate about Scottish independence. Though as an intelligent and well educated person, Theresa May must know better. So I can only assume that she, like most Unionists, is simply an inveterate liar when it comes to Scottish independence. Let us calmly take a look at that little word “British”. On my current passport it states under Nationality, that I am a British citizen. However when I look at the cover of the passport and the wording inside I find that the state that issued this passport is clearly denominated as United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Now that even tinier little word – “and” gives the game away. For both logically and in reality, this signifies that Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain, but a separate place. It was only in 1927 that this became the legal name of the state. Prior to this, from 1801, the name of the state was United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Again note the use and significance of that little word “and”. For the century or so before this the state was officially known as the Kingdom of Great Britain as a result of the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland in 1707. No doubt this is when the term British became normal as an adjective to describe the state of Great Britain. Nowadays it is often used in this way – to refer to the whole of the UK. However it can only properly be used to refer to Great Britain and not the UK, in whatever of its two versions. Only if the term British is used to refer to the British Isles can British be used to include Ireland. Even then it has to include the whole of Ireland and not just the six of the nine counties of one of the Irish provinces which currently form part of the UK. However the term British Isles is not much used nowadays. One can see the evolution of the term in the name of the current rugby squad which is touring Australia. This collection of players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland was originally known simply as the British Isles. It then became known as the British Lions, which is how I remember them as a young boy. But now of course they are the British and Irish Lions. Such comparatively trivial matters merely confirm that the term British can really only be applied to Great Britain.
Back to my passport and the threat that Scottish independence poses to not just my passport but to all “British” passports. For with the independence of Scotland the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ceases to exist. Now what remains of the UK may be granted status as the successor state, but what it cannot do is continue to call itself by that name. It may well want to continue with the UK bit, but it would then have to become the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Which is a bit of a stretch and not very historical. There has never been a Kingdom of Wales, which was invaded and annexed by the English way back in the 12th century or so. Northern Ireland of course is not even the full province of Ulster, let alone a Kingdom. Not that this is likely to bother the political elites in England. They have a history of riding roughshod over the feelings of others. Whatever the case, as the new United Kingdom cannot include the words Great Britain in it, all its citizens will need to be issued in due course with new passports. This new United Kingdom will also have to decide what to put under Nationality in these new passports. It can hardly be “British” as this new state will not include all of Great Britain in it. A minor detail no doubt. What is not in doubt is that everyone will lose their “British” passport in the event of Scottish independence.
Theresa May also raises the prospect that what is left of the UK might decide to deny Scots the option of dual nationality. This can only be yet another example of the bitterness at the heart of the Unionist campaign. All sweet words of being one big happy family go out of the window. If we Scots dare to vote for independence our current fellow citizens in England will want to punish us severely. Alone among nations, we Scots will be denied the option of dual nationality. The constant threats that emerge from Westminster – we will not allow you use our pound, we will not share anything with you etc, etc – only reinforces the reality that the Unionist elites in England either hate us Scots or they fear for the future of the rest of the UK without Scotland. I do not believe for a moment that they hate Scots or Scotland. So it can only be that people like Theresa May realise that without Scotland, what remains of the UK becomes a much smaller and poorer place and one with less power and importance in the world. To avoid this happening they are prepared to lie and threaten us with all sorts of calamities. Does not sound like the best way to go about influencing people.