Professor AC Grayling says Scotland is only seen as a “useful appendage” to England
A leading philosopher says it is “unacceptable” that Scotland has been taken out of the EU by an England who sees her only as a “useful appendix”.
Professor AC Grayling, who was one of 200 big names who signed a ‘love bomb’ letter in 2014 urging Scots to vote for the Union, said that meant he had now completely changed opinion on independence.
Speaking at an event last week hosted by campaign group Pro Europa, the academic said his reasons for wanting to keep the UK together revolved around having grandparents from England, d ‘Scotland and Wales.
But he said: “I have now come to the opinion that it is unreasonable that Scotland, which voted to be in the EU, is dragged down by England which pays so little attention, has so little interest and really cares about Scotland, other than as a useful appendix.
Grayling, who campaigns to reverse Brexit, said he was now a Yes supporter and if an independent Scotland joined the EU it would be a “big shock” to change the mood in England.
“The ideal future is that the nations of the British Isles – the Scots, the English, the Welsh, the Irish, all as members of the EU, we have no borders, we have no problems “, he added.
He said he believed it was inevitable that the UK – or its “current constituent nations when they are no longer part of the UK” – would return to the EU.
“If we didn’t do anything at all, we would be back in the EU in due course, probably if we didn’t do anything in the 2040s,” he said.
“But it seems important to me that we come back much sooner than that, so we minimize the degree of divergence that there is between the UK and our fellow EU members.”
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Grayling calls on opposition parties to now form an alliance for the upcoming Westminster elections on a platform for electoral reform research.
He said this would mean the current first past the post system could be replaced, leading to a more balanced parliament that could put the issue of EU membership to another vote.
This was probably a more realistic option than the idea of ââfederalism suggested by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, he argued, which England’s Conservatives would strongly oppose.
“A federal Britain would be one in which there exists a very specific and explicit set of constitutional arrangements in which something like Brexit could not have happened if Northern Ireland and Scotland had voted against,” did he declare.
âThat’s the kind of thing Gordon Brown has in mind.
âIt is extremely unlikely that this will happenâ¦ because the British Conservatives are going to be extremely reluctant to give up their hold on power.
“It’s too easy for them to get power under the current arrangements, they can handle it all, they can deny Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales a bigger voice and more ‘independence.”
The open letter “love bomb” was curated by television historian Dan Snow and signed by 200 people from sports, film, television and literature, including Mick Jagger, Judi Dench and David Attenborough.
Posted the month before the 2014 referendum, it said, âWe want to let you know how much we value our citizenship ties with you and express our hope that you will vote to renew them. What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let’s stay together. ”