Mandy McAuley explores the issues around Scottish independence, travelling to Scotland to comprehend the consequences for Northern Ireland.
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June. Also we have the Clipper round-the-world yacht race at the
end of June. In the next few months, we have events all the time.
Thank you very much. The square is well worth checking out so maybe we
will see you here some time. Time now for a look at what the
Time now for a look at what the weather has planned for the next
few days. Here's Barra Best. Winds are quite high at the moment
and they will stay high overnight and into tomorrow. Generally it is
a largely dry night, but there will be some damp weather continuing to
be blown in from the north. Temperatures will stay at around
five or six degrees. No frost to worry about. It will be a cold
start tomorrow. But nothing will change. It will stay cloudy and we
hold on to the winds. Very little in the way of brighter weather
first thing, but maybe the odd glimmer. For the north coast, here,
we hold on to some patchy rain. That continues through the day. The
picture across Ireland is the sunny spells are at their best in
Scotland and central England. May be some brightness through the rest
of the coast. Some pictures tomorrow between nine and 10
degrees. -- temperatures. For us, our temperatures are between eight
and nine degrees. In the south-east we may get the odd 10 degrees. Not
too bad. A few degrees above average. Although there will be a
lot of cloud, it will be bright at time. We will see some doubt
whether from the north coast. On Thursday we introduce another front.
It is going to bring some rain. Temperatures will be up to nine or
10 degrees. Improving as we did to 10 degrees. Improving as we did to
the end of the week but by the weekend the temperatures begin to
fall again. That's it for now. You can also
keep up to date with the news online and follow this programme on
Facebook and Twitter. From BBC Two politicians, one unionist and
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 87 seconds
one republican Our future, our resources, and our success, should
be in our own hands. I passionately believe we are stronger together,
rather than breaking apart. Frankly, I'm sad we are even having this
debate. Peter Robinson and I have a castle in Belfast. I'm sure we
would be prepared to make it available for peace discussions
between the British government and Scotland! To many uenss here it's
no laughing matter am some fear the fight for Scottish independence
will achieve what republican terrorism has not. I see those
proposals as a bigger threat to the union of the United Kingdom than
the IRA is at present. Scottish nationalists say that is an
Australian UN fair analogy. Terrible comment to make. Misjudged.
Comparing the SNP a political party, totterries acts of mindless
thuggery. The Scottish referendum could herald the biggest shake-up
to the United Kingdom in three centuries. The implications for
Northern Ireland are potentially huge. Could Scottish independence
re-start the conflict in Northern Ireland, as some claim? If the
Scottish nationalists were to succeed, it could possibly re-
ignite the difficulties that we have just managed to overcome.
Tonight, on Spotlight, we are in Scotland. We have brought with us
two politicians, one unionist and one republican some unionists fear
that Scottish independence could destroy the union. We ask, what it
could mean for Northern Ireland and its position within the United
Our journey bins at a Burns Night supper in County Londonderry. This
celebration in Tobermore Orange Hall, is one of the biggest social
events in the local Calder. Since the plantation of the early 1600s,
Ulster Scots have had deep religious, social and cultural ties
with their fellow Scots, 20 miles across the Irish Sea. For many in
the unionist community, those links are as strong today. Here there is
great affection for the people of Scotland, who are regarded as
kinsfolk. They have come to toast the haggis and to celebrate their
Scottish culture through poetry, music and dance. I'll cut you up...
Alex Salmond's talk of Scottish independence and the possible
break-up of the union draw as raw and deeply emotional response here.
I think it's disgraceful because we've come through two world wars
and the nation all fought together. You look at how many people have
lost their relatives in wars and that, he is going to succeed where
the Germans failed by breaking up the union. If cot land do break
away from the UK it will let the English and Welsh people see that
the people that's with him, the people that want to be there will
only strengthen what they have. It would let England see who their
friends are and where their loyalties lie. If Scotland was to
get their independence, Wales could follow suit.we would have the
scenario of a united Ireland, does the North need to be in the United
Kingdom? I think it would be drastic for Northern Ireland.
People here clearly cherish their relationship with Scotland. One man,
who has fought to uphold that relationship around the globe, is
Ulster unionist Lord Laird. From Artnagarvan in County Tyrone, he is
passionate about everything Scottish. The former Head of the
Ulster Scots Agency, he is the most high-profile proponent of Ulster
Scots as a language. We decided to take Lord Laird on a trip to find
out more about Scottish independence and what the outcome
of the referendum could mean for Northern Ireland. Accompanying him,
Barry McEldulff person, a republican from Tyrone. The Sinn
Fein MLA is passionate about the gaelic tradition and is well-known
as a champion of the GAA and the Irish language. John Laird set out
on his journey on the very clear views on the way forward for
Scotland. I would be opposed to independence. I'm opposed to any
form of nationalism. I think nationalism is narrow and small.
It's lacks self confidence. Barry McEldulff began the trip with very
different, but firmly held opinions on Scottish independence. Well,
Sinn Fein genuinely believes in the concept of national self
determination for Ireland, principally, and, of course, for
Scotland. It would be wrong of us to be prescriptive to the Scottish
Scotland is potentially on the cusp of momentous change. There is an
enormous sense of expectation here, as people prepare for months of
debate and ultimately a decision which could strike at the very
heart of the UK's constitution and reverberate across British finance,
industry and the military. The Robert the Bruce monument at
Bannockburn, which commemorates a great Scottish victory over the
English. Today, Scottish nationalists want to hold their
referendum in 2014, the 700th anniversary of that battle.
Scottish victory here was overwhelming. There was almost
annihilation of the English noblt elite. They were actually the main
victims of the Scottish pikemen. It took a very large number of years
after 1314 for English forces, as it were, to restore their
credibility. I don't think that the romantic or historical significance
of 1314 will play all that great a part. It will certainly give a kind
of lustre. The Scottish people are not daft. They will be looking very
carefully indeed at all the arguments. The arguments will be
essentially based on politics, aspirational attitudes in Scotland
and, above all, of course, the likely future of the economy.
Barry McEldulff there are clear parallels with the famous Irish
victory over the English in County Tyrone. For me this is like the
battle of the Yellowford at Benburb in 1598 when Huw O'Neill vanquished
English forces at Yellowford? I like history. I love history and
the past, I don't want to live in. It you could pick up stuff out of
history and Tuesday for your own use. With respect to Irish
Republican and Scottish nationalist you can pick these things. The
unionists can pick the same thing and interpret it another way. You
pick them when it suits you. Peace. I will be the umpire here. This
might surprise your listeners and viewers in Ireland. In the 19th
century Bruce and Wallace were regarded by the unionists as heroes.
The argument was that both of them in their different wayes had
preserved the independence the of Scotland. A very interesting point.
Can you see how you interpret history to suit yourselves. You are
a walking contradiction yourself. The papers are reporting a surge
for support in independence, 20 points up, they say, on previous
polls. One small survey. It's headline news. We have two-and-a-
half years until the poll. A lot of people will come to common sense,
who will pay for all sorts of things. If Scotland gets
independence. 51% would not frighten me at all. It's
interesting in that we are in the middle of an economic recession.
51% are, you know, stating their position for independence. Earlier
this month, the Scottish National Party leader said his goal is
political independence. The Queen, would remain Head of State. Alex
Salmond wants to ask the Scottish people one question. Do you agree
that Scotland should be an independent country? Even the
wording of the question on the ballot paper has caused a huge row.
David Cameron says the SNP is posing a loaded and coercive
question. David Cameron is insisting on a "straight-forward
yes or no question on independence". If Scottish people do vote for
independence, what will the impact be on Northern Ireland? The more I
heard of this word "independence" I have a notion in my head that
Tyrone could pull it off. Who would be the Head of State. We took our
politicians to meet constitutional expert, Christine Bell, originally
from Northern Ireland, now based here at Edinburgh University.
Christine has reassuring news for John Laird. The Good Friday
agreement safeguards Northern Ireland's position within the union,
irrespective of the outcome of a Scottish referendum. I think in
terms of the immediate constitutional status of Northern
Ireland, if we are looking at constitutional... You know, would
you Northern Ireland be propelled into a united Ireland. It doesn't
affect that at all. The Belfast Agreement anticipated it. Unlike
the Scot land Act, the Northern Ireland Act makes provision for a
referendum. It's clear that the conditions for a ref aren't there
at the minute. Behind the headline figures, recent polls indicate a
definite increase in support for independence. That support is still
a long way from being a majority. What is more significant is the
rise in the number of English people who want a Parliament of
their own. Have you learnt anything new? One thing that struck me today.
There is a rising sense of Englishness, a sense of England on
the part of English people. You know, I wonder, from a union point
of view, you know, is that, is that auguring, sort of, a psychological
break-up? In that a notion of Britishness is dissipating and
Scottishness and Englishness is on the rise? I'm not a player in this
referendum. I'm a spectator because I'm going to allow the Scottish
people to determine their own affairs. You're a player. You want
to get actively involved in this campaign. I think you might learn
from spectating this. OK. It could be the Republic of Ireland crease
ceasing to be a republic and coming back into the UK. Can we agree to
disagree? We can always agree to disagree. Dinner in Edinburgh for
our two politicians, some people from Northern Ireland, who now live
and work here. We wanted to know what they think about Scottish
independence and what it means for Northern Ireland. Lord Laird is
immediately challenged on what Scottish independence could mean
for the future of Ulster unionism. I'm sick, sore and tired of every
morning getting up having to say, how do we defend the union today. I
do not wish to be a unionist. I wish to be a politician. But I'm
forced to be a unionist because I perceive people working against us.
I perceive we have no other way... We don't have an existence, we
don't have an existence unless we can keep Northern Ireland as part
of the United Kingdom. That is the way we analyse things today.
Scotland is outside that. Scotland is outside that, how do you feel?
Hold on. My big fear about skos Scottish nationalism and Scottish
independence is that it might go down what I regard as Irish
Nationalism. The one thing I learnt is that it's a melting pot. It's a
big melting pot. I'm not clear in my own mind exactly how to handle,
accept that we will help to fight the nationalists in some shape,
sense or form. Pauline Goldsmith is an actress, originally from Belfast.
She comes from a background. She has lived in Scotland for 16 years
and says Irish and Scottish nationalism are very different.
Independence in Scotland its very diverse. Its international looking
it's not based on one religion. It's very mixed. Fundamentally, it
has at its heart social justice and equality. That, I think, is what
attracts people to independence who are not necessarily nationalists.
Business man, Paul Nelson, is from a unionist background in Lisburn.
He describes himself as an Ulster Scot. He settled in Glasgow 25
years ago. I do think the Scottish independence will do more to damage
the United Kingdom that that the -- than the IRA ever did is correct.
There is no union after. That the IRA's objective in that respect
would have gone. However, there would still be, presumably, a union
between Northern Ireland and England? I think it puts it under
tremendous pressure. Northern Ireland is an irrelevance for
England. Journalist and author, Neil Mackay, is from a mixed
religious background in Antrim. think Euniceism will find itself in
a very difficult bind. Let's say in the hypothetical world that
Scotland went independence, what is unionism? There is no union. What
is going to happen to the DUP and the UUP? How do you define your
ideological territory? What territory do you sit on? The union
is not just with Scotland it is the rest of the United Kingdom. What it
if the arch English person goes, we don't care if we lose Scotland.
What about that much more problematic country? Our two
politicians meet Humza Yousaf a rising star in the SNP. One of the
faiszs of the referendum campaign, he has already been tipped as a
future leader of his party. He describes himself as a Scottish
Pakistani and says his party's brand of nationalism is all
inclusive. What are you going to get through independence in terms
of freedom and new law that is you can't get right now? What our
independence is about is about independence to grow jobs. To
create jobs. It's the independence to grow the economy. Independence
not to send our sons and daughters to fight in illegal wars. It is the
independence to create a welfare system that is just and that it
doesn't punish the disabled. Who is going to pay for all this? We more
than pay our own way. What are the implications of Scottish
independence to your mind for example the north of Ireland. Do
you think there are consequences or knock-on affects for us in terms of
the future? That is a fair question to ask. There will be implications
for the whole of the rest of the UK. Possibly wider as well. The English
people want an English Parliament. Want an English representation.
That has gone up massively and swelled in the last couple of
months. It is their sporting ties that lead to some animated debate.
I'm a glory hunter at heart, apart from Celtic football club, who I
have supported all my life. know what the definition of an
atheist is? What is that? Someone who goes from a Rangers Celtic
match to watch the football. I wanted to ask Humza Yousaf what he
made of the Ulster unionist leader's warning that the battle
for Scottish independence could do more damage to the union than the
IRA? I think it's a terrible comment to make. For the last 77 to
compare a political party to the terrorist acts of mindless thuggery.
It was felt that Scottish independence could re-ignite the
conflict in Northern Ireland? is a very inflammatory statement to
make. What is his reaction to Peter Robinson's call to unionists to
campaign against Scottish independence? I would almost pay
for their bus fare and train fare to come over. Every time unionists
from Westminster or from outside of Scotland tries to interfere in the
democratic will of the Scottish people, it backfires immensely.
fears that they would not win a referendum on full independence
have led them to offer the public the possibility of an extra
question on the ballot paper. An option known as devolution max.
That would increase the Scottish Parliament's powers, but falls just
short of complete independence. It's a measure that finds support
among many Scottish politicianes who want to stay inside the union.
Politicians like former First Minister heny McLeish. I'm not
looking for a compromise, bau better alternative which keeps
Scotland within the union. Hopefully, a different union. It
allows Scottish -- Scotland to have more financial powers. Devo max?
It's home rule within the union. If you want to keep the union, be more
sensitive to what parts of the union want. Alex Salmond wants --
once painted a picture of Ireland Scotland and Iceland as arc of
prosperity. Ireland and Iceland are now bust. Where does that leave
Scotland? Could it stand on it is own financially. We put that
question to Bill Jamieson? Executive edit Orthor of the
Scotsman. There is a set of facts as the nationalists see. It in
other words a Scotland that was accumulating North Sea oil reserves
would be a very viable country and would not have any problem raising
money on the international money markets. Another truth is, that an
independent Scotland would not be able to survive. It wouldn't have a
terrorism A rating. Could an independent Scotland maintain its
current commitments to welfare spending and social benefits, and
the unionists say, no, it cannot be depon. After much debate our dinner
guests greed that ultimately money will decide Scotland's future. Paul
Nelson does 90% of his trade in England and Wales. Is there
business confidence in the notion of Scottish independence across
business, would you say? Across business, I think, it's pretty
solidly against Scottish independence. There are a few big
main the hitters. To develop develop money we need open borders
and less borders. We don't need more. Pauline Goldsmith gold says
Scots must not allow the Republic of Ireland's experience frighten
them away from independence. idea is that we would have more
control and accountability of our politicians and our banks and the
society we have if we had independence. If the union did
break up, who would decide who gets what and how much? How do you
untangle oil. In a divorce, who gets the art and the gold? Who gets
the cat? It it -- it is bigger than a cat, it's North Sea oil.
visiting is causing a stir. Some of our interest in the Scots is
mirrored by their interest in us. On day three, our two politicians
are being filmed by a BBC Scotland Newsnight crew. I'm from a Scottish
background myself. I do not like the idea of Scots going into
something that could end up in a narrow sectarian, narrow little
state. Not dissimilar to that of the Irish Republic. Our two
politicians are invited on to Call Kaye, one of Scotland's biggest
radio talk shows. Let me know your thoughts this morning. Should we,
in Scotland, care what impact independence should it ever come to
pass, have on our neighbours, in Northern Ireland. The problem you
have with nationalism. I have to speak about Irish Nationalism is
that to prove itself it had to be different from everybody else.
Therefore, polished up symbols and things and ideas which would be
anathema to us from a non- nationalist viewpoint. Lord Laird
ends up bearing the brunt of most of the callers anger, all deeply
irritated by his former leader's suggestion that independence could
re-ignite the conflict in Northern Ireland. These are just
scaremongering stories that are being put around to try and
frighten people into backing off from what is every nation's destiny,
the right to control its own borders, to control its own
economics, to do everything that is good for its own people and then to
turn its attention to the world. have Stephen in Ayrshire. Morning.
Good morning. I have listened with great interest. I have to say the
unionist gentleman, from Ireland, he really has not got a grasp on
the reality. Why should everything be controlled by London? He says he
fears that Scotland would become rather narrow in the nationalism.
The reality is we are a European nation. We are European now.
terms of Ireland, are you excited by the fact that this debate is
going on in Scotland? Are you hopeful that it might kind of re-
ignite a different kind of fire, a nationalist fire in Ireland?
would be keen not to express a partisan opinion on the internal
debate within Scotland. It is, apparently, having an unsettling
effect on unionism. Remember, I'm somebody that is opposed to the
union. I suppose, it's interesting when John, John Laird would say
things like, "I'm a unionist" if Scotland achieved its independence,
who would the union be with? At the end of the day, it's a disappearing
union. You got some stick on Call Kaye. Did you see her facial
expresses when they were ringing in, "what planet does he live on?".
What they were doing was listening carefully to what I said and taking
in every word as if it was a gem or a pearl. Yeah, yeah. I think that
is very interesting. It's a very important point. I was glad to meet
Kaye, she is a big personality in broadcasting in Scotland.
didn't know her surname. Her surname was Adams. You thautd --
thought thats with a Scottish name. Easy to remember. Alphabetically it
was always top of the ballot paper. For Scots the question of
independence is a battle between head and heart. The long tradition
of Scottish regularments in the British Army, pitted against modern
fears of nuclear bases in Scotland. The desire to march into a new
progress if future, lined up against the security of the past.
All very difficult issues, but for Scottish Conservatives, the kaisz
for the union is overwhelming. think there is a very strong
argument both for the head and the heart for Scotland to remain part
of the United Kingdom. If you look at Scottish soldiers wearing a
Mandy McAuley uncovers the big talking points in the Scottish independence debate. She travels to Scotland with a unionist and a republican - and asks what the consequences for Northern Ireland could be.