December 2017: David Cameron, still Prime Minister, has had a rough three years. The two referendums he agreed to in 2013 result in England, Wales and Northern Ireland quitting Europe, while the independent nation of Scotland finally strikes an agreement to send its own freshly minted diplomats south to Brussels and Strasbourg. (Judy Murray asks for Washington but gets Lima.)
The exact scenario imagined above remains improbable – but not impossible. Well, apart from Judy Murray. Whatever your views on the Union and on the EU, rarely are the stakes in British politics so high, with such profound, lasting implications.
I’m writing from Edinburgh. I try to get around the country as much as our daily editions allow, rather than expecting everyone to travel to London for meetings.
A No vote in the Scottish referendum cannot be banked on. Unionists acknowledge that support is growing for Alex Salmond’s independence campaign – although they still expect to reel in that No vote over the summer.
While we will not chart each tiny contortion of the independence debate, our coverage will be comprehensive and, I hope, original. We have a print site at Cardonald Park, Glasgow. Nearly 20,000 people a day buy i in Scotland (out of 300,000 copies nationally) – recently overtaking The Times and The Daily Telegraph, making i the most-read quality national title in Scotland. But we’ll look to shed light on the wider implications of Scottish independence for all of our readers, and to fairly air the arguments for and against. Let us know anything that you would like to read in these pages.