I joined the SNP in 1974 because I believed in Independence. Sadly, I do not believe anymore that the SNP are the vehicle for attaining Independence. They have lost their way: they believe in the European Union.
I still believe in Independence, and that is why I have joined Restore Scotland.
The Independence in Europe slogan first appeared, unannounced, at an SNP conference in 1988. It meant nothing then, means even less now that we are out of the EU. Interestingly, Jim Sillars, who was one of the movers behind the slogan, has changed his mind and now argues against Independence in Europe.
Over time, I grew more disillusioned with Independence in Europe, especially as I listened to SNP spokespeople performing logical summersaults trying to defend the illogical. What is the point of becoming Independent from the UK but then wanting to be part of an even bigger, incorporating union, the EU? If Scotland being 5 million on the periphery of 60 million is not great, how can being 5 million on the periphery of 448 million be better? Eventually, I had had enough and resigned from the SNP, and with others in 2004, formed the Free Scotland Party. Timing is everything; it was just the wrong time for a double-out party.
In 2014, I was the chairman of Yes Shetland; everybody that believes in Independence was involved in what was a lively and fun campaign.
We closed down the Free Scotland Party about a year before the surprise Brexit referendum. The more I hear SNP spokespersons talking about the next Independence referendum being about getting back into the EU, the more I know that the time is right for a double-out party.
What about the over one million voters in Scotland who voted to leave the EU, who should represent them? What about the one third of SNP voters who voted to leave the EU, who should represent them? It will not be the SNP; they are putting the EU ahead of Independence, ahead of their own voters.
This is where Restore Scotland comes in, the double-out party, get out of the Westminster parliament, and stay out of the EU.
A vote for Restore Scotland is a vote for a referendum on Independence. Let the voters in Scotland decide Scotland’s future! We want a government in Scotland elected by and answerable only to voters in Scotland.
Brian Nugent is the Nominating Officer for Restore Scotland.