Making a borderline case for the Union

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The National Farmers’ Union recently held a debate on what the impact of independence would be on our agricultural industry – and I was invited to make the case for us being better together.

The 300-year-old Union between Scotland and the rest of the UK has resulted in deep economic integration, and as things stand, farms and businesses buy and sell to the whole of the UK, with no restrictions.

In the event of independence, trade will continue, but the introduction of an international border between Scotland and England would almost certainly have a negative impact. Just a one per cent reduction in exports by Scotland to the rest of the UK equates to £450million of sales.


It was great to see such a big turnout at the Kelso Charities Fair.

Every year charities from the Borders Talking Newspaper to Alzheimer Scotland gather to put on a fair at the Tait Hall. It’s always a great occasion and I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t been before to give it a go in future years.

Each stall offers something different and the event managed to raise thousands of pounds for good causes in the area.


I’m sure many of us paid respects to those who have given their lives for our country on Remembrance Sunday.

It is always a special day and offers a much-needed opportunity to give a thought to those who have fought and are still fighting to protect our country and freedom. I know ceremonies took place across our region to mark the day, with poppy wreaths being laid at memorials.

I was pleased to once again participate with the ceremonies in my hometown of Coldstream. Many men and women from the Borders have given their lives for our country and we must always remember the sacrifice they have made.


The inaugural Table Tennis Cup, organised by the Kelso Youth project, took place at a couple of weekends ago – and I was delighted to present the prizes to the winners.

Event organisers invited youngsters aged between nine and 18 years of age in the Kelso area along to the high school to take part in a series of coaching master classes overseen by former Scottish national table tennis coach David Fairholm.

In the afternoon a tournament was held between the players to see who would walk away with the individual trophies.

The standard of play in the final was of a very high level and just showed how far everyone had come along since the beginning of the day.