Suzanne McDonald, Owner Director, Toffee Princess, Dubai: “Scotland will never become independent and if they do, I will denounce my Scottish nationality. They cannot cherry pick which parts of being British they want to keep (The Queen, currency and BBE etc). How they think this is going to work, be funded and how they will support Scots overseas is beyond me. Besides, they won’t even let us vote on it as we are not resident in Scotland!”
Scott McGowan: “The independence vote will take place next autumn and I think it is a clever move by the Scottish National Party (SNP). It will happen after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the SNP are banking on any undecided voters to vote ‘yes’ on the back of a swell of national pride during the Games. Personally, I am a unionist and believe Scotland is stronger as part of the UK, it is a relationship which has served Scotland well for hundreds of years and I see no real benefits to break away from rest of UK. The vote will be close, but I think the ‘no’ vote will still win the day.”
Jonathan Castle, copywriter, journalist, keynote speaker: “I’m not at all sure independence is going to be a reality by 2016. That depends on the outcome of the referendum vote to be held in September next year. And it is at that point that the doubts begin to surface.
“What I want to see is mature, intelligent debate, visionary leadership by elder statesmen who put the interests of the nation before themselves, who have a calling to serve the people of Scotland, not to regard them as a bottomless source of funds, who view parliament as a service not a sinecure.
An independent Scotland would afford us to set our own agenda, to have different priorities, to determine our own future. I would want to invest first in universal, free education of the highest quality, to create the next generation of great inventors, engineers, thinkers and artists, economists and entrepreneurs. I want to see industry encouraged, effort rewarded and enterprise celebrated.
Will we get it? The quality of the debate so far is not encouraging. Partisan squabbling, the politics of the gutter, a parliament occupied in part by intellectual minnows with no thought further than their next expenses claim. I hope I’m wrong. I hope there are the inspirational leaders and visionaries ready to step up and take Scotland to her full, independent glory. Independence is a unique opportunity and too precious a chance to be squandered on petty infighting. Perfidious Albion? Perhaps.”