I'm incensed that I cannot vote in the referendum as a Scot living in London

I could live in France and vote in the British general election...

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It’s so surreal. And it’s heartbreaking. It would only take 2.1m voters representing 4 per cent of the British electorate to destroy the United Kingdom. Thank you and well done David Cameron. That he disenfranchised the millions of Scottish voters living outside Scotland is unforgiveable. I can live in France and vote in the British general election, but I can’t vote in the referendum even though I live in London.

The Yes camp has waived away crucial questions about currency, pensions, EU membership, budget deficit, foreign investment and banks on the basis that it’ll turn out OK just because independence will deliver some gravity-defying magic dust.

Rugby provides a useful metaphor – no matter how many bagpipes and Braveheart cast offs are wheeled out for the Calcutta Cup we still get a beating from the English. Reality will bite very hard. Who would be mad enough to invest in a country which will be out of the EU (thanks to Spain - who have their own secessionists to deal with, and do not want to encourage them), have a devalued currency (thanks to its deficits), high taxes (someone has to pay for free university tuition) and shrinking oil reserves?

The Yes camp is using various forms of bullying, aggressively accusing everyone in the No camp of being unpatriotic. I found myself in agreement with Gordon Brown for the first time ever when he finally spoke up yesterday and hit back, saying Scotland, the flag and the people do not belong to the SNP or the Yes camp. And it’s because he loves Scotland he’s backing the No camp. Why did the No camp take so long to wake up to this line of attack? The No campaign has been appalling and all its leaders deserve the sack – especially Douglas Alexander. We shouldn’t have to pay for their incompetence, though.

There’s a bit of me that thinks that if my fellow Scots want to commit economic suicide well so be it – but it would cause massive ripple effects in the UK. I’ve been so incensed that I found myself ringing the BBC complaints hot-line last night after it broadcast in full three speeches by the Yes camp on BBC news at 9 – and nothing on the No campaign. On the eve of the referendum. So much for bias towards the No voters.


Having lived abroad I’m very conscious about how great being British actually is. Scotland is part of that fabric and has always been better off as a result. No one should forget that Scotland joined the Union after going bust in 1707. Sums it up really.

Oliver Cardigan is a Scot living in England who does not have a vote today