I am British. I may have been born in England, but I am British. I am a modern Unionist, in that I believe in the Union of three dynamic and diversive nations but that there must eventually be arrangements for the handover of Northern Ireland.
My desire is to eventually see a fully federal Britain with all three nations having full national Parliaments in a system similar to that of Canada. I reject any notion of independence for Scotland and Wales on the simple basis that it would be an illusion.
The main platform of the SNP and Plaid Cymru is that an independent Scotland or Wales would immediately seek entry into the European Union and not only that seek funding equivelent to the bonanza which Ireland experienced when they shrewdly negotiated their entry.
This however is unlikely as currently the only nations supporting new entries to the European Union of any kind are the UK and a couple of the new Eastern European nations. Even if Scotland and Wales are low cost entries, they would still add to the burden of an already creaking European Union.
Furthermore, if they did join, they would merely be swapping one powerbase for another. No not London for Edinburgh or Cardiff, but London for Brussells. They would have less of a say in European affairs than they do now. The prime reason for nations like Norway and Swizerland not joining is that they seem to have more say outside of the big European tent than inside. If Scotland and Wales would want true independence, they would want a future outside of the European Union. Period. The scene of Alec Sammond being laughed out of Brussels is something I do not want to see.
Nor should there be any consession to the relatively "re-discovered" nationalists in say Yorkshire or, ugh Cornwall. Both have only recently (and I stress recently) seen a surge (I'm not going to say "resurgence" because there isn't an original surge in the past to compare this too) as a result of their English identity being surpressed by the liberal inteligensia "my way or the high way" people in London. If the English were allowed to celebrate their culture and their way of life just as much as the Welsh and the Scottish can then we would not have such artificial campaigns springing up in the far corners of England.
Essentially the best path for all concerned to take is to continue with devolution, but agree a new constitutional settlement in which all three nations can continue, working together. With the challenge of China and India on the horizon, we are much better working as one rather than acting as easy pickings for the vultures divided as three.
Yo Ho! A Unionist life for me!