Why saying No is a positive choice

Making a positive choice for the United Kingdom in the vote on Scotland’s future is as much a matter of the heart as well as the head.

Those involved in the argument for Scotland to remain in the UK have begun to argue more assertively that a vote for the UK is the positive choice.

We have just over five months to decide whether we stay in the UK family or go it alone. Five months to choose between remaining part of this four-nation partnership that we have built together or breaking away and starting again.

I believe in the contribution Scotland has made over the last 300 years, along with our friends and families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – our common effort to create and share something bigger and that serves us all well.

Our economy comprises four-and-a-half million companies, rather than 320,000. We have a market with no boundaries, no borders and no customs. We also have the stability of the pound that is respected and envied across the world.

Together, we constructed a National Health Service to combat ill-health across the UK. We also built a BBC which stands for excellence in broadcasting at home and around the world.

And, as a united country, we have the financial clout to reshape our energy system to meet the challenges of climate change and the fact that fossil fuels will run out.

In the Borders we know better than most the importance of being able to cross into England without barriers.

The complete freedom of movement that we enjoy provides immediate opportunities for young people to have careers that span the whole of the UK.

That’s why more than 830,000 Scots are now living and working elsewhere in the UK, and why 450,000 of those who are happy to live and work here in Scotland were born elsewhere in the UK.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference: “Forget hearts and minds, this referendum is about capturing imaginations”.

In 2014, all people who believe in the United Kingdom must make the strong, positive case for the UK – and to make it loudly and proudly. I am working with others to provide a positive vision for a prosperous future for every part of the UK.

As a Borderer, a Scot, and someone who is proud to be British, I appeal to all voters to get the facts and consider what is best for our future.