A leading MP called on Scotland to stay with Boris Johnson in the Union and not leave the north of England in the lurch.
After 17 consecutive polls showed majority support for Scottish independence, Tim Farron made the plea, with the SNP on track for a significant win in the Holyrood election next year.
During debates in the House of Commons, the former Liberal Democratic leader spoke frequently about the dangers of nationalism, telling the Conservatives last week that their increase in English nationalism is coming back to haunt them and they should not be shocked by the increasing support for independence.
He said during a debate on the UK Internal Market Bill, “I run the risk of offending some people around me, but I say this to the English nationalists on the government benches whose modus operandi to win elections in recent years has been to blame all the ills of the country on people outside our border. that has done you a lot of good in terms of election results in recent years, but it can also do you the reverse when nationalists north of the border point to the nationalists on your frontbench and decide it’s time to end the Union. ”
The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale contrasted the tactics of the SNP to those of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage on Sunday after the debate and said it was “insulting” to describe England as an overwhelming state in the UK.
The MP said, “I know that when everything is said and done, self-determination is vital for any individual, but I believe that nationalism, to put it bluntly, has never ended well, ever, anywhere.”
I can understand that the new UK government is not really appealing, but it’s much safer for people who are democratic in Scotland than adding to what we are currently going through with Brexit an almost endless amount of complexity and suffering.
That’s a very drastic way to break away from the Tories…. Not to make anyone feel bad, but you’d end up with the Tories forever in the north of England as well.
“He joked, “I believe that my Scottish friends claim they don’t hate English, but if you leave us forever in the hands of the Tories, you really have to hate us! ”
The MP said he saw parallels between some of the methods of the SNP and those of Nigel Farage, who is trying to blame nationwide issues on “others”
He explained, “My attachment to Scotland is much greater than it is to London or the south-east of England, and I consider it a single bloc, which is even incorrect.”
The truth is that there have historically been fewer Tories in most of northern England than in Scotland.
What really scares me is what is being done by the nationalists.
Farage speaks about ‘Brussels.’ He lumps every physician in Lithuania, every teacher in Spain, every parent in Denmark, all of them, into Brussels.
The Scottish nationalists, what are they talking about?
They speak of ‘Westminster,’ where every farmer in Westmoreland is lumped together, every doctor in Newcastle, every poor mother who struggles and needs to go to a food bank in Bradford, and they are all ‘Westminster.’
It is just not true and it is disrespectful to characterize Britain or the English as oppressors in that uniformed way, especially in the north of England.
“I know this is despised by the SNP and I understand why. I understand there are variations, too.
“But I’m afraid the whole modus operandi of nationalism in Scotland and in the hands of Nigel Farage is the same game plan – blame other people for your current experiences, people beyond your borders.”
Farron said that although many Scots are angry at being excluded from the European Union, there are still many people in their own constituency, but because of that they do not want to secede from the rest of the world.
He explained, “Yes, they’ve stolen our place in Europe from us, but so have I.”
My electorate voted for Stay more than many of Scotland’s constituencies.
“And I’ve lost my place in Europe too, but I don’t want to secede from my country, I’m going to fight for it.”