My family and I moved from the USA to the United Kingdom just over 22 years ago. As a manager for a US based electronics company I was tasked with setting up manufacturing operations in the UK. Scotland was selected as our base for UK operations as it offered inroads into a wider UK market in the hi-tech and automotive industries. My family and I set up home in Scotland in the lovely seaside town of Broughty Ferry on the east coast of Scotland. We grew to love our life there and we fully embraced the many and varied cultural aspects of life in the UK.
After a few short years we realised that life in the UK provided us with a sense of community, culture, and history that we had never experienced in the USA. We were beginning to feel at home in the UK. While we loved (and will always love) our USA roots and heritage we were feeling a connection to life in the UK and soon realised that we wanted to remain permanently in the UK. As a family we debated the issue of UK citizenship. Although we could have remained in the UK under permanent residency status we came to the conclusion that we needed to either embrace the UK as our home country or return to the USA... no half-way allegiances for us. After much thought we decided to apply for UK citizenship. Our application was successful and the day we were granted full UK citizenship I felt so privileged. It was a day I will never forget.
The years quickly past as we assimilated fully into British culture. Life in Scotland was wonderful and we began to venture out to parts of the British Isles that we had not yet experienced. The Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Skye, the Borders, Cornwall, Wales, the Norfolk Broad and many other areas. We realised that this nation is unequalled due to the sum of its many parts. We’ve travelled the world and lived in many places but no place compared to the British Isles.
Unfortunately, after nearly 20 years living and loving life in Britain our euphoria ended abruptly when the Scottish Government decided to pursue an agenda to break up this United Kingdom of nations. A union that is so well respected and envied by so many throughout the world. I felt betrayed by the Scottish Government (the SNP). I felt as if our cherished UK citizenship was being undermined and marginalised.
Living through the Scottish independence referendum I began to question our decision taken years ago to settle in Britain. During the referendum we saw an ugly side of Scotland that we didn’t know existed. We were in favour of Scotland remaining a part of the UK, partly due to our fulfilment in becoming naturalised UK citizens but also due to a belief that the whole is greater than its constituent parts. One Island… One Nation… makes perfect sense to me. However, I soon realised that to voice a view in favour of the union during the referendum was an invitation for abuse if you were living in Scotland. Those that voiced a pro-union viewpoint were labelled ‘non-Scottish’. On several occasions I was told that I wasn’t Scottish and didn’t know what I was taking about. I saw pro-UK banners burned and destroyed, cars displaying pro-UK symbols damaged and defaced, and much worse. This so-called tolerant Scotland showed its true colours and I became totally saddened by the whole affair.
After the referendum I thought it was over and behind us. However, with the SNP in power not much changed. The SNP (the Scottish Government) continued to ignore the referendum result and they continued to raise the separation issue at every opportunity. Sadly, after 22 years living in Scotland I decided it was time to leave. The nationalist agenda has driven us away. My wife and I have recently found a new home and community in Norfolk England. In spite of Ms Sturgeon’s disparaging views of the English we have found just the opposite. The English people that we have met are welcoming, friendly, caring, and happy. It’s so sad that Ms Sturgeon and the SNP prefer to embrace a platform that creates division rather than inclusion. I wonder how many others like us will be driven from Scotland by her nationalist program of creating barriers between people.
Formerly, Broughty Ferry, Dundee