Our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign continues today with Scotland in Union supporter Mark Smith.
I was born and raised in Scotland but have always had strong links to other parts of the UK, being English on one side of my family. In my childhood we would often go on holidays to parts of England and Wales, and every time I went I never felt like I was in a foreign country, or like I didn't belong. I never got homesick and always felt like I belonged in other parts of the UK just as I did in Scotland.
This hasn't changed today as I have made many friends from the other nations of the UK and still feel that same strong connection as I did when I was growing up. I am loath to the idea of making my friends and relatives in other parts of the UK foreigners, just as I am loath to the idea of myself feeling like a foreigner in my own country. I also do not want to have to be in the position of having to change my money every time I cross the border into England, or in the event of a hard border have to bring my passport with me as well.
The United Kingdom set the trend for countries of unions made up of constituent parts, and continues to be one of the most respected and influential countries in the world today. This is evident in how many of Britain's former colonies are united by history, culture, language, human rights and free speech. Britain itself has no shortage of charm and character, and there is no island in the world that has been more successful and prosperous divided into multiple countries as opposed to being one single country.
Instead of being made to focus on making people in Scotland feel different to people in other parts of the UK, we should instead be focusing on what our similarities are and what it is that drives us together. I feel that breaking the UK apart would be a loathsome thing to do, and that is why I feel more than ever that we need to succeed against nationalism and promote the positive cases for keeping the United Kingdom together.
- Mark Smith