Independence Referendum

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2017.

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Photo of Alex Cole-Hamilton Alex Cole-Hamilton Liberal Democrat

I have said that I will not take an intervention.

We live in a time of political chaos when the wheel has turned in ways that we never thought possible, and we still have revelations to come. At times like this, I can only hold on to what I know for certain and what I feel in my heart. I am an internationalist to my bones and I believe that a political union of nations does nothing to dilute the integrity, independence or strength of the union’s member states, any more than an orchestra diminishes the violin. Such political unions foster a platform from which solidarity, shared endeavour and prosperity can flourish.

We have heard many times in the debate about the rancour and division of the past, but I would put that behind us. We have so much in the United Kingdom union to be grateful for. I am a passionate European, and I am bitterly devastated by Brexit, but I recognise that I might have to campaign for the rest of my life to see closer integration between the UK and Europe, and I shall do so; it is the policy of my party. However, I will not trade one political union that I hold dear for the whispered promise of another, insubstantial as that may be.

In this debate, we have seen so much passion and absolute focus—Bruce Crawford spoke about our need to keep it focused on what is right. I think back to my time as a candidate in elections, when I made a promise to my constituents. It is important that we recognise the United Kingdom’s strengths. In the past, the EU has given us so much—and we have been ripped out of it, for sure. Now we sit at a time of great change in our society. We look back to the resolution—[


.] I am sorry, just one second; I get very emotional about this.

The dysfunctional nature of our United Kingdom has, at times, been a source of great pain to our country. It has caused us a history in which the empire created at times a brutal and difficult period for us to go forward in.